According to Webster, “Ergonomics is an applied science concerned with the characteristics of people that need to be considered in designing and arranging things that they use in order that people and things will interact most effectively and safely also called human engineering”(Webster, p 422).
Ergonomics is about molding work to fit people. The designed workspace increases production and decreases accidents. The space is constructed using safe, hazard free, easy to keep clean, and user friendly concepts and designs. To create the perfect environment, it employs strengths and weaknesses of man and machine interaction.
A machine has to be coordinated to the characteristics of a man to work efficiently. Devices are now developed to augment safety, comfort and productivity in the work place. They are a big business and employed by multi-national corporations.
One of the events that led to the birth of ergonomics were consecutive tests that altered the work environment of to figure out what it was that motivated workers. Additional lighting was introduced in the workplace. It was noticed that productivity of work would increase in respect to there being additional lighting. Once the additional lighting was switched off, the pace remained astonishingly at the same increased level.
The objects that harm humans are the glare of the computer screen, the structure of the office chair, tedious work and generally poorly designed equipment. Suggested solutions are different varieties in the work schedule, taking short breaks, and performing minor tasks like getting up to pour a cup of coffee. It is preferred by many to exercise, even for a few minutes during breaks. Including stretches and walking. This will also reduce time spent on the computer monitor. Objects are best placed at a far grasp, to allow one to get up and go get it.
Things constructed for ergonomic use are like the ring pen which is made to fit over the index finger; this eliminates the necessity to grip, reducing pain in the wrist area. There are special chairs constructed to alleviate back pain and improve posture. Anti- glare covers for the monitors, to reduce eye strain and headaches. This greatly improves working on the computer.
Every office is implementing the use of ergonomics for their own benefits. This being a rise in the productivity of the work force, a decrease in accidents caused by objects placed irresponsibly. Generally a more relaxed work area as employees are less stressed and more relaxed.