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What is Ergonomics?

What is ergonomics?

Ergonomics is an applied discipline to improve human’s conveniences, efficiency, safety, and satisfaction through designing products, work, and environments in consideration of a human’s physical, cognitive, emotional, social, and cultural characteristics. Ergonomics is also referred to as human factors. The name ergonomics is composed of the Greek ergon (work), nomos (law), and ics (suffix meaning discipline).

  • Ergonomics is applied to designing kitchens that disabled people can also easily use.
  • If a device that can shoot a pupil’s movement is used, an efficient screen design becomes possible because which part of the screen a user mainly sees can be identified.
  • Ergonomics contributes to finding optimal conditions by measuring the changes in brainwaves, skin temperature, muscle strength, and heart beat according to working conditions’ changes.
  • Ergonomics has been applied to the development of a transport cart by which the ambulation of aged farmers with inconvenient movements can be supported and that can be used for harvest transportation and as a chair for rest.

Need of ergonomics

If human factors are not systematically considered from the design phase of a product or a workplace, a user’s mistake can be induced, or a possibility to cause a user’s discomfort, complaints, and even severe property and human life damages is high. Lots of time and cost will be required to correct and restore a wrongly designed product or workplace after it is made. The best solution to such a problem is to take into account human factors from the design phase of products, machines, tools, and working environments.

Benefits of ergonomics

If ergonomics is adequately adopted to corporate management and operation, various benefits can be acquired from the organizational/corporate, employee, job, environmental, product/service, and user/customer aspects.

  • Environment
    1. Employee and customer-friendly working environment
    2. Safety, efficiency, and productivity improvement
  • User/Customer
    1, Customer loyalty improvement
    2. Increase in continuously using customers
  • Product/Service
    1. Convenient and easily used products and services to which users give more affection, as they use them
    2. More convenient and safer living through good products and services
  • Job
    1. Efficient and effective work
    2. Machine equipment and tools easy to learn and use
    3. Improvement of work procedure and training program effect
    4. Decrease in human error risks
  • Organization/Company
    1. Productivity and efficiency improvement
    2. Product level improvement, and sales and brand value increase
    3. Decrease in management risk factors such as safety accidents
    4. Effective manpower selection and training
  • Employee
    1. Employee welfare improvement
    2. Communication improvement within a team and between teams Safe and efficient working conditions

Recent trend in ergonomics

Ergonomics contributes to the reduction of occupational accidents enormously, as ergonomics is widely applied to the prevention and management of musculoskeletal disorders including backache. As computers and cutting-edge electronics are widely diffused, ergonomics is vigorously applied to the design of user-friendly products and software. Ergonomics is recognized as an essential core technology for human-oriented products and service development.

  • If ergonomic office furniture and office fixtures considering human’s physical characteristics and job features are used, work productivity and workers’ satisfaction increase. The ergonomic mouse minimizing the bending of fingers and wrist has become generalized.
  • If the angle of work piece is made adjustable in the worksite, the risks of waist and neck injuries can be minimized.

Roles of ergonomic experts

The Ergonomics Society of Korea (ESK) was founded in 1982, and has been developing and diffusing ergonomic discipline and technology since then. We host regular conferences twice a year and conduct regular academic exchanges with the Japan Ergonomics Society. By successfully hosting the Pan-pacific Conference on Occupational Ergonomics in 1994 and the Congress of the International Ergonomics Association in 2003, we have provided publicity to ESK’s status to the world. In 2014, we founded the Asian Council on Ergonomics and Design and successfully hosted a relevant conference.

Introduction to the ESK

The Ergonomics Society of Korea (ESK) was founded in 1982, and has been developing and diffusing ergonomic discipline and technology since then. We host regular conferences twice a year and conduct regular academic exchanges with the Japan Ergonomics Society. By successfully hosting the Pan-pacific Conference on Occupational Ergonomics in 1994 and the Congress of the International Ergonomics Association in 2003, we have provided publicity to ESK’s status to the world. In 2014, we founded the Asian Council on Ergonomics and Design and successfully hosted a relevant conference.