Ergonomic Science Can Help Reduce Health Problems in the Workplace

Workers in jobs that are essentially repetitive in nature, do tend to develop health problems depending on the equipment, their posture and the work being carried out. Ergonomic science helps to design the equipment, workplace and the job so that any injuries are avoided. It is also known as human engineering and uses mechanical engineering and psychology that help to bind the working environment with the mind and body.

The Importance of Ergonomics

Jobs that require the use of equipment’s like computers for long hours every day can cause stresses on the body. The overall effect of these is only noticed after many years. The effects are rarely immediate and may lead to oft neglected pains like blurry vision, backaches, neck pains and the like. Most people tend to dismiss this as overwork. The lack of exposure and poor posture during work can also help to aggravate problems.

ergonomic science

The human bodies are not of a design that allows a person to sit all day. Nor are eyes comfortable with staring at screens and other devices for long periods at a time. Computers tend to put further strain on wrists, through constant operation of the mouse or keypads. Ergonomic science helps to develop workstations and other equipment to suit the human body and the strains that jobs on them, involve.

A chair that is too low for a desk can place additional strain on the wrists, shoulders and neck. Ergonomic needs require that elbows and knees need to be at right angles during the work. The use of keyboards is also need to be such that there is no pressure on elbows and wrists. A ergonomically designed keyboard will ensure that elbows are not in a posture that has a tight angle, and that the wrist is not bent upwards. Laptops seem to increase the problems for people working on them, because of the low screen and flat keyboard. Laptops are essentially meant to ensure portability of the computing device and are unsuited for workstations where long hours of work are necessary. Sitting in the same posture for a long time can lead to lower back pain. Ergonomics suggests that getting up from the desk and moving about every half an hour can reduce muscular disorders. It also suggests that the body be used in a number of ways during a work period, by rotating work tasks.

Principles of Ergonomic Theory

The main principles that help to solve ergonomic problems have to deal with:

Comfortable working

Ease of use of equipment


Safety during work

Helping productivity

Improving performance

Ergonomic applications have been around for a very long time, and mankind has always tended to design things for use, taking all these principles into consideration. Over the past few decades it has developed into a science that has merited serious study and application.

Present day application of ergonomic science needs to pay attention to the physical aspects of a job, the way people react to information and retain it and the design of workplaces to promote productivity and efficiency. 

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Image Credit:
Michal Marcol – Free Digital Photos.Net

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