Ergonomics is the design of an environment of a human, this involves there comfort, functional and other systems. Ergonomics involves designing products and services which will be able to interact with the people using them. It involves various considerations from professions such as engineering, psychology, biomechanics and anthropometry in order to create this products or services. There are various types of ergonomics such as;
- Physical ergonomics –this basically concerned with the anthropometric and physiological relation to physical activities. It is particularly useful with producing products for people with problems such as arthritis and other chronic pains related to weight or pressure.
- Cognitive ergonomics – this type of ergonomics is concerned with mental processes. This may involve processes such as; making decisions, stress, reliability, reasoning and memory.
- Organizational ergonomics – this type of ergonomics is concerned with social systems such as structures and processes. They may include working time, cooperation, programs and communication.
There are organizations that deal with helping in provision of these products and services, they include; The Institute of Ergonomics and Human factors, Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES) and International Ergonomics Association (IEA).
In order to come up with this products and systems, there are a lot of experts involved. Majorly the psychologists do most of the work but also some other people involved include; designers, scientists and anthropologists.
Methods used in ergonomics
- Focus groups – these groups enable individuals to exchange opinions about processes and products that will be used or are already in use.
- Surveys – this is done through research using things such as questionnaires. They are used to obtain data which is then used in altering or making new systems.
- Design – this involves multiple stages running from making of prototypes to actual products which can be used.
- Analysis – here there is investigation of various issues. These include data, materials and also created prototypes to see if they work or if changes need to be made. There are various types of analysis done such as task analysis, user analysis, meta-analysis and ethnographic analysis.
- Manufacturing – this is particularly used when creating new products, common nowadays is the use of computer integration to manufacture these products.
There are various other methods and ways which are used in ergonomics such as Kensei method, Macroergonomic analysis and design and macro ergonomic analysis of structure.
Disadvantages of ergonomics
- Ergonomics is usually time consuming and takes a lot of resources to make.
- A lot of people and effort are required in order to make any useful products or systems
- Some of the study subjects may become hostile.