“Ergonomic: A Trending Term in Technology” – Part One of Three
“What Does ‘Ergonomic’ Mean?”
By Michelle VanHoy
Anyone who has bought a piece of furniture, a pair of shoes, or an office accessory has probably seen the words, “ergonomic design,” prominently displayed on the packaging or advertisement. But what exactly is an ergonomic design, and how can it be used to describe everything from the MouseDrive to a mattress? The word ergonomics comes from the Greek words, “ergon,” (work) and, “nomos,” (natural law). It is sometimes referred to in North America as human factors, and is, in essence, the science of work.¹
The International Ergonomics Association, or IEA, defines ergonomics as, “…the scientific discipline concerned with the understanding of interactions among humans and other elements of a system.” This means that ergonomics is the study of how people interact with each other and how they use things. The IEA goes on to state that, “ergonomics [help by] harmonizing things that interact with people in terms of people’s needs, abilities, and limitations.” ²
The concept of ergonomic design, as it relates to the MouseDrive, falls under the category of physical ergonomics. Physical ergonomics is defined by Wikipedia as, “the science of designing user interaction with equipment in the workplace to fit the user,”¹ and deals with many characteristics of the physical activity of humans. Most relevant to the field of ergonomic design is the study of the impact of jobs, tools, and arrangements on human physiology.² The MouseDrive is designed for a comfortable, low impact grip during use, reducing the risk of various repetitive-use injuries and ailments, including carpal tunnel.
For more on why ergonomically designed products are important to one’s health and wellbeing, don’t miss part two of, “Ergonomic: A Trending Term in Technology,” only here at TheMouseDrive.com!
1. Wikipedia. “Human Factors and Ergonomics.” Accessed July 22, 2015, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Human_factors_and_ergonomics
2. International Ergonomics Association. “Definition and Domains of Ergonomics.” Accessed July 22, 2015, http://www.iea.cc/whats/index.html