The National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health defines ergonomics as "the discipline that strives to develop and assemble information on people's capacities and capabilities for use in designing jobs, products, workplaces and equipment. Ergonomics examines the way your body moves within your environment while accomplishing specific tasks and is a practice most commonly used in the workplace. Ergonomics, also referred to as human engineering, involves arranging equipment in a workspace or other regularly used areas to "fit" the person. Moving a computer screen, lights and other needed equipment to reduce eye strain, neck or other muscle tension, or pain are examples of ergonomics in the work place.

Physical Ergonomics

Physical ergonomics is concerned with human anatomical, anthropometric, physiological and biomechanical characteristics as they relate to physical activity. The relevant topics include working postures, materials handling, repetitive movements, work-related musculoskeletal disorders, workplace layout, safety and health.

Product Design

Even the simplest of products can be a nightmare to use if poorly designed. These days, the designers of products are often far removed from the end users, which makes it vital to adopt an ergonomic, user-centered approach to design, including studying people using equipment, talking to them and asking them to test objects.

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