What is ergonomics? Ergonomics explained.

Posted by Kate Whitebread 11/11/2019 0 Comment(s)

What is ergonomics? Ergonomics in the workplace.


Ergonomics is the scientific discipline concerned with the understanding of interactions of humans and design - ergonomics’ aim is to ensure that designs complement the strengths and abilities of users and minimise the effects of design limitations. This is done through applying data to optimise designs/products/environments that adapt to the user rather than expecting users to adapt to a design that is limited and naturally forces an uncomfortable, stressful and dangerous way of working. Many of the brands we work alongside are ergonomic and human factor specialists who seek to understand how a product, workplace or system can be adapted and designed to create perfect harmony between product and user.

In a nutshell, ergonomic design is the process of adapting a space to meet human requirements. Ergonomic design aims to improve:


Ergonomics has arguably been a focal point in design since the days of Charles Darwin who unconsciously invented one of the earliest examples - however, the furniture industry with further reference to the office furniture industry has emerged as a clear leader in ergonomics in the past couple of decades. Rewind back to the 1970’s when office furniture was first put in the spotlight then fast forward to 2019 where leading workplace brands like Humanscale, OrangeBox and Flokk are putting ergonomics very much at the forefront of their design processes.


Common workplace-related ergonomic injuries:



The value of ergonomics - how ergonomics lowers costs by reducing work-related injuries/ill health.


For many businesses, the cost of employee sick leave is not accounted for and can have an immense impact on the financial health of a business but are the implications truly known. According to the HSE the cost of work-related injuries and ill-health is:

So how has ergonomics adapted the workplace?


The introduction of Sit/Stand has changed the dynamics within the workplace - aiming to bring a more energetic working culture the sit/stand revolution has impacted employees both physically and mentally. Although it should be noted that standing is not good for your health, neither is sitting all day - variation is the keyword. The benefits of sit/stand?


Biophilic Design:



Biophilic design is a recent phenomenon taking the office industry by storm - its a concept used within the building industry with the sole aim of increasing occupant connectivity to the natural environments. This is typically done through the use of direct nature, indirect nature, and space and place conditions.


If you would like any further information on the above do not hesitate to reach out to one of our in house ergonomic experts - enquiries@ds-ergonomics.com

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