Learning Resources

Office Ergonomics

Ergonomics is the study of designing equipment and devices that fit the human body, its movements and its cognitive abilities.

The International Ergonomics Association defines ergonomics as follows:

Ergonomics (or human factors) is the scientific discipline concerned with the understanding of interactions among humans and other elements of a system, and the profession that applies theory, principles, data and methods to design in order to optimize human well-being and overall system performance.

Ergonomics is employed to the fulfill the two goals of health and productivity. It is relevant in the design of such things as safe furniture and easy-to-use interfaces to machines and equipment. Proper ergonomic design is necessary to prevent repetitive strain injuries, which can develop over time and can lead to long-term disability.

The term "ergonomics" comes from the Greek words "ergon," meaning work and "nomoi," meaning natural laws. Ergonomists study the relationship of the human body to the demands of a work environment. Office ergonomics can refer to office equipment, general office environment and workplace policies that are designed to improve the efficiency of the office worker by enhancing her physical comfort.