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Ergonomics - Definition and Facts

The term “ergonomics” originates from the Greek words:

ergon - work and nomos - custom, law.

Ergonomics is the science of fitting the work-place conditions to the psychophysical capabilities of a person.  The goal of  ergonomics is to harmonize work through arranging the man - machine - surrounding conditions system in such a way that work is conducted at a low biological cost and in the most efficient way, and this is achieved, among others, through eliminating sources of professional diseases. 

Ergonomics is an interdisciplinary science. It derives from such sciences and scientific studies as occupational psychology, occupational sociology, occupational physiology, hygiene, occupational medicine, work arrangement, anthropometry and technical studies, e.g. material science or mechanical engineering.

The author of the term “ergonomics” is Wojciech Jastrzębowski who defined ergonomics as the science of using powers and capabilities given to man by God. 

The study focuses on the man - machine - material conditions of work surroundings - working conditions in the workplace. The key aim is to improve man’s working conditions that includes their adjustment to the worker’s capabilities and the proper selection of the worker for a given kind of work and the worker’s education covering the workplace characteristics. 

Ergonomics comprises conceptual ergonomics (introduction of ergonomics principles when developing the concept and designing) and corrective ergonomics (correction of working conditions through the modernization of the already existing workplaces). 


Some Facts

Many activities are performed in a sitting position

Many activities are performed in a sitting position

The prolonged sitting position is a potential threat to your health.   Headaches, backaches, circulatory disorders are consequences of using non-ergonomic chairs and improper sitting. 

13 hours a day, 80 000 in a lifetime

13 hours a day, 80 000 in a lifetime

Scientists unanimously claim that the sitting position is not a natural human posture. Unfortunately, nowadays the movement and activity are replaced with a sedentary lifestyle. An average person spends 13 hours daily sitting, which is 80,000 hours through the entire professional life. 

The risks to your health

The risks to your health

In the developed countries around 30% of the employees work in offices, i.e. most part of the day they are sitting.  The bad sitting behaviour causes that they suffer from:

backaches 61%

headache, should and neck pain: 28%

thoracic spine pain: 15%

It does not only refer to the office staff. In factories many activities are also performed in a sitting position and about 40% of such workplaces do not comply with standards.  80% of motor organ diseases derive from the disorder that occurs in the spine as a result of the incorrect posture.

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