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human engineering

the study of the interface between people and technology with the objective of achieving a better ‘fit’ between the two. The twin objectives of ergonomics are the interrelated ones of improvements in efficiency and the provision of better working conditions. For instance, an ergonomist would be concerned to ensure that a typist's chair is of the right height to avoid back and arm strains. As well as minimizing employee dissatisfaction this would prevent productivity from being impaired by physical injury. In more complex technological environments the ergonomist is also concerned with the distribution of functions between human operators and the technology itself.

Ergonomics grew out of SCIENTIFIC MANAGEMENT, one strand of which was concerned with the development of technology that could be matched to the task in hand and to the human physique, and human factor psychology (see OCCUPATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY), which was concerned with the impact of environmental factors on work performance.

Collins Dictionary of Business, 3rd ed. © 2002, 2005 C Pass, B Lowes, A Pendleton, L Chadwick, D O’Reilly and M Afferson
References in periodicals archive ?
Today, just about every major company we talk to--and I'm sure this is true for other members of EASE--has an ergonomist on staff.
According to Dan Odell, Microsoft's ( in-house ergonomist, when he asked parents this very question, "the things they were most concerned about were online predators and people taking advantage of their kids.
According to previous research by ergonomists at Loughborough University in the United Kingdom, back pain is a common complaint among vehicle operators.
To show workers there is no reason to be suffering discomfort, BT Business worked with Margaret Hanson, one of the UK's leading ergonomists, to publish the guide.
(Most ergonomists agree that alternating between standing and sitting reduces the need for extended breaks, increasing employee productivity.) A variety of accessories is also available to accompany the Workrite Sierra, adding even more functionality to its worksurface.
Dempsey of Franklin has been elected a fellow of the Ergonomics Society, a United Kingdom-based professional organization for ergonomists. Mr.
The goal of the current work, therefore, was to better understand some of the more social or behavioral aspects of the intervention process in order to find things that ergonomists can do to increase the likelihood that an ergonomic intervention is given adequate time to realize its full potential at steady state.
The Ergonamic back is a radically innovative back support, incorporating disruptive technology, that has been developed over six years by Nick Williams, with advice from leading occupational therapists, physiotherapists, ergonomists, and Cardiff University.
Employers frequently are concerned that ergonomics services will turn into a buying frenzy--new desks here, new chairs there--but a lot of work environments are fairly adjustable, and good ergonomists will try to work within budgets and make the best use of what's on hand.
When sitting in a chair for several hours, unequally distributed body weight can increase fatigue and tension in the spine, according to ergonomists at Cornell University.