Skip to main content Skip to Search Box

Definition: ergonomics from Merriam-Webster's Collegiate(R) Dictionary

(1949) 1 : an applied science concerned with designing and arranging things people use so that the people and things interact most efficiently and safely —called also biotechnology, human engineering, human factors 2 : the design characteristics of an object resulting esp. from the application of the science of ergonomics

er•go•nom•ic \-mik\ adj

er•go•nom•i•cal•ly \-mi-k(ə-)lē\ adv

er•gon•o•mist \(॑)ər-॑gä-nə-mist\ n

Summary Article: Ergonomics
From International Encyclopedia of Hospitality Management

Derived from the Greek ergon (work) and nomos (laws) to denote the science of work, ergonomics (or human factors) is a discipline that nowadays studies how the human body relates to its various environments. It is the application of scientific information concerning humans to the design of objects, systems, and environments for human use. Ergonomists’ main concern is to ensure that work and leisure products, as well as physical environments are comfortable, safe and efficient for people to use. Ergonomics is relevant to everything that involves people. All human activities including work, sports, leisure, recreation, tourism, health and safety embody ergonomics principles, if properly designed. Ergonomics is a multi-disciplinary field involving numerous professionals such as engineers, designers, computer specialists, physicians, health and safety experts, and specialists in human resources. Ergonomists contribute to the design and evaluation of tasks, jobs, products, environments, and systems in order to make them compatible with the needs, abilities, and limitations of people. The basic human sciences involved in ergonomics are anatomy, physiology, and psychology. These sciences are applied by ergonomists to make the most productive use of human capabilities, and to protect and enhance human health and well being.

  • The Ergonomics Society. Retrieved 26 April 2004.
  • International Ergonomics Association. Retrieved 26 April 2004.
    © 2010 Routledge, Inc.

    Related Articles

    Full text Article Ergonomics
    Bloomsbury Guide to Human Thought

    Ergonomics (Greek, ‘work-organization’) is the relationship of design to the way men and women actually use objects. Its purpose...

    Full text Article Ergonomics
    The A to Z of Corporate Social Responsibility

    → Health and safety Ergonomics is the study of efficiency of individuals in their working environment. In an age when people spend increasing amount

    Full text Article Ergonomics
    Reader's Guide to the Social Sciences

    International Labour Office and International Ergonomics Association , Ergonomic Checkpoints: Practical and Easy-to-Implement Solutions...

    See more from Credo