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History of Ergonomics

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Ergonomics is a discipline through which the interaction between humans and other systems can be understood. Through this study one can be able to properly organize his activities. Ergonomics has been there since the origin of species. This is supported by the fact that, the ancient Australopithecus carefully selected and made his tools from the bones of the antelope in order to ease his work. The beginning of ergonomics is dated to the era of post world war II and that is why Hugues Monod I refer to the 20th century as proto-ergonomics era.  There has been marked transformation from primitive to advanced ergonomics (Bridger 11).

The reason why ergonomics started was to enable man to improve his performance. The early man engineered many tools which would enable him work efficiently since he needed to hunt in order to obtain food. The first instruments to be engineered were axes and hammers.  After some time the tool engineering process was done with a better understanding in order for efficient tools to be made. Through the 21st century there has been an invention of more sophisticated machinery which is necessary for yield improvement as well as increased product output (Bridger 22).

There are documents showing the engineered working tools with the injuries obtained from them though the term ergonomics was first coined in the year 1857 by a philosopher named Wojciech Jastrzebowski. The study of ergonomics was catalyzed by the Second World War as much interest in the usage of machine was incited. It’s at that time that people understood the importance of successful machine operation and its usefulness to proper completion of a job. Through the knowledge obtained the American army decided that it was very important to design simple machines in order to reduce air craft accidents which were on an increase asa result of operating very complicated machines (Hanson 250).

Such inventions led to research on the existing relationship between manual task and muscle force. Through this research there was the birth of cognitive ergonomics.  Through time human attributes has been successfully added to this field such as decision making and proper organization. Today ergonomics is a combination of many disciplines for example physics and biology. And through this there has been a better understanding of work safety as well as a healthy work place. The knowledge obtained from the study of this field has resulted to improved techniques which in turn optimizes output. The furniture in offices have been re-structured in way that reduce injuries which maybe associated with them as well as creating a conducive working environment (Anshel 15).

Since this field deals with designing of the work and all the necessary equipment in order to fit the worker its important to design it in a way that  prevents strain injuries. This is necessary in reduction of disabilities which can end up being long term. Through ergonomics productivity and health is achieved. Physical ergonomics ensures good relation between human anatomy and work. In medical practice physical ergonomics are applied therefore there are a many products which have been designed to treat chronic pain that is related to pressure. For example when one is using a computer it’s important to seat in the right posture to avoid pain which may result from poor posture. It’s therefore recommended that one views the monitor from a rightful angle and between distances of about 18-24cm. The elbow joint should be at the right angle with the key board and this can only be achieved when the wrist is kept straight in relation to the keyboard. The knee angle is recommended to be at 90 degrees, thiis can be achieved when one is seating on an adjustable chair which offers a lumbar support for the lower back.

Since there are several types of work research reveals that best performance is achieved when one uses graphs or tabular displays. Performance is caged by use of textual displays as well as ratios on addition to graphs and tabular system. The results of the carried investigation indicates that graph interpretation is quite easy than all the other types. But the usage of graph for data analysis is limited to the type of work to be done since some activities do not require graphs. Therefore work can be made easier to the worker by using graphs to interpret information (Hanson 292).

The fitness between a worker and the machine or tool is assessed by considering the the demands of the job on the user. This depends on the equipment in use for instance if it’s efficient then there will be fewer demands on the user. Proper ergonomics reduces the cost used in ensuring safety of the workers since when a worker is injured some kind of compensation has to be done. When a company designs a good ergonomics there is a marked reduction in overextension injuries which occur when a worker overextend himself. Two approaches can be employed when using ergonomics and this include; proactive and reactive approaches (Anshel 57).

One of the physical applications of ergonomics is achieved when one sits in the right posture which reduces the pressure being exerted on the back. And this is achieved when the back in placed in an upright position. When one is seated the pressure is exerted to the floor and the chair and this bring out a good seating posture. It’s important for ergonomics to be applied at work in order to create a good working environment which promotes productivity and efficiency as well as ensuring the health of the workers.

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