What is Ergonomics?
In the United States, the term human factors is a term synonymous with ergonomics. The Board of Certification for Professional Ergonomists (1993) defines ergonomics in the following way: Ergonomics is a body of knowledge about human abilities, human limitations and human characteristics that are relevant to design. Ergonomic design is the application of this body of knowledge to the design of tools, machines, systems, tasks, jobs, and environments for safe, comfortable and effective use.
Although the discipline's concepts can be applied to home and public settings, ergonomics primarily is associated with the workplace. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (1995) reflected this orientation when it defined ergonomics as: The field of study that seeks to fit the job to the person, rather than the person to the job. This is achieved by evaluation and design of workplaces, environments, jobs, tasks, equipment, and processes in relationship to human capabilities and interactions in the workplace.