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Ergonomics Essay

1964 words - 8 pages

"Ergonomics" is the discipline that examines the capabilities and limitations of people. The term ergonomics is based on the two Greek word "ergon" and "nomos", which together mean "the laws of work". In terms of design, the focus of ergonomics is man; and it aims to design appliances, technical system and tasks in a way to improve human safety, health, comfort and performance. Also, it makes products easy to be used. In the following paragraphs, I will discuss a number of factors including: the provision of energy, the application of forces, the problems of body sizes and postures, the effect of climate, the limitation of sense organs, the design of display, the design of controls and the person/machine information exchange, in terms of how and why they are important for design.(1)The Provision of EnergyHuman body obeys the law of conservation of energy. Energy is required for all kinds of human activities and it is generated by the input of food and oxygen, through the respiratory and digestive system then transform into energy. The rate of energy expenditure is increased proportionally to the workload of a person. If there is an excess demand of energy, the input of food and oxygen will relatively increase. Otherwise, the person will be easily to fatigue, lose weight or declined working efficiency. However, a good design could avoid excess consumption of energy and help to increase the working efficiency and productivity. Take an architectural design of an office as an example. The best layout is to group the basic needs and equipment close to the users in order not to force the users moving around and reaching a long distance throughout day. Therefore, the laser printer and the scanner should place below the desk so that the output paper is at the desk height and easily to retrieve. The top of the display screen should be slightly below eye level and place a copyholder on the monitor can relieve head and eye movements during data entry. Furthermore, a chair with adjustable backrest, seat pan and armrest would help the users to adjust their best-fit position.(2)The Application of ForceThe musculoskeletal system consists of bones and muscles. Bones are used to support the weight of the human body. Bones must be connected by muscles in order for humans to achieve movement. Muscles can do work by contraction; in other words, a muscle can pull but never push. The bone and joint form a lever system with the bone being the lever and the joint being the fulcrum. Most of our body system work as a third-class lever such as forearm. The most efficient way of using our physical powers when the joints are in a 'midway' or intermediate position where muscles are only partially contracted therefore give larger forces. Therefore, when designing storage for heavy objects, the height should maintain in the range of the midway position of the forearm. However, lever forces are not suitable for fine adjustment, but they can give positive on/off switching or...

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