The term "ergonomics" is derived from two Greek words: "ergon," meaning work, and "nomoi," meaning natural laws. Ergonomists study human capabilities in relationship to work demands.
There are three types of ergonomics:
Physical ergonomics is concerned with human anatomy, and some of the anthropometric, physiological and bio mechanical characteristics as they relate to physical activity. Physical ergonomic principles have been widely used in the design of both consumer and industrial products. Physical ergonomics is important in the medical field, particularly to those diagnosed with physiological ailments or disorders such as arthritis (both chronic and temporary) or carpal tunnel syndrome. Pressure that is insignificant or imperceptible to those unaffected by these disorders may be very painful, or render a device unusable, for those who are. Many ergonomically designed products are also used or recommended to treat or prevent such disorders, and to treat pressure-related chronic pain.
Cognitive ergonomics is concerned with mental processes, such as perception, memory, reasoning, and motor response, as they affect interactions among humans and other elements of a system. (Relevant topics include mental workload, decision-making, skilled performance, human reliability, work stress and training as these may relate to human-system and Human-Computer Interaction design.)
Organizational ergonomics is concerned with the optimization of socio-technical systems, including their organizational structures, policies, and processes. (Relevant topics include communication, crew resource management, work design, work systems, design of working times, teamwork, participatory design, community ergonomics, cooperative work, new work programs, virtual organizations, telework, and quality management.)
In recent years, Core Concept under the leadership of Dr. Umesh Falak have attempted to define postures which minimize unnecessary static work and reduce the forces acting on the body. All of us could significantly reduce our risk of injury if we could adhere to the following ergonomic principles: