From The Ergoweb® Learning Center

The Ergonomics Arena

Lately, media reports would have you think that ergonomics was all about carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) and funky keyboards. While CTS and alternatively designed keyboards may come into practicing ergonomics, they are but a small part of this field of study and application.

The term ‘ergonomics’ was developed in 1857 by Polish scholar Wojciech Jastrzebowski. Derived from the Greek words ‘ergon’ meaning work, and ‘nomos’ meaning principle or law, ergonomics is ‘the science of work’. In his essays, Jastrzebowski was careful to point out that his idea of ‘work’ encompassed more than one’s occupation. Ergoweb’s philosophy is that ergonomics removes barriers to quality, productivity, and human performance by fitting products, tasks, and environments to people.

While occupational, or workplace, ergonomics encompasses much of the research and application of ergonomics today, it encompasses only one subdivision of the field of ergonomics.

To learn more about other areas where ergonomics is being applied, journals are a great place to start. Available Journals concerning ergonomics include:

  • Applied Ergonomics
  • Ergonomics
  • Human Factors
  • Industrial Ergonomics
  • International Journal of Human Factors in Manufacturing
  • Ergonomics in Design
  • Occupational Safety and Ergonomics

In the Spring 2001 edition of the journal Human Factors, contents included the areas of accidents, attentional processes, biomechanics, anthropometrics, work physiology, displays and controls, psychological states, psychomotor processes, sensory and perceptual processes, simulation and virtual reality, and surface transportation systems.