The Facts Behind Ergonomics

While we’ve likely all heard the word, do we really know what it means? Ergonomically designed, ergonomic furniture, ergonomic handles, ergonomic keyboards, etcetera; but what does “ergonomic” really mean?

To put it simply, ergonomics is the science of making things efficient, effective, and as comfortable as possible. Ergonomics covers the science of work and how to work more effectively and comfortably. It allows us to perform more work better and more efficiently. So how does ergonomics make us more productive and comfortable? First, let’s discuss comfort.

How Comfort Is a Factor in Ergonomics

Comfort tends to be the number one consideration for most consumers. Why buy a chair that isn’t comfortable, right? Comfort makes the consumer happy. Without comfort, it becomes highly unlikely that consumers will regularly use a product, as discomfort is not conducive to use. Physical comfort increases desire to use a product. Think of your favorite desk chair. Do you use it because it is uncomfortable or doesn’t allow you to perform work effectively and efficiently? Of course not. The same goes for ergonomically designed items. They are designed and constructed to allow for maximum comfort while also allowing the user to perform more efficiently. This brings us to ergonomics and its applications in user efficiency.

How Ergonomics Increases User Efficiency

If a product makes an action easier to perform, that product makes the user more efficient. This may mean the product is more intuitive and user-friendly, or that it reduces the strength or effort required to perform an action. It could also mean fewer parts are required for the user to perform a task, or even that fewer steps are required to achieve the end goal. Whatever the case, if something makes an action more efficient, the user is more likely to perform that action. When the user is more likely to perform that action, the item is more useful.

The goal of any design is to increase value and use of the item. If an item not only provides increased comfort but also increases use, it becomes more valuable. Whether that’s an office chair that allows users to perform work more comfortably or a piece of equipment that requires less physical exertion, ergonomics is constantly at play in product design.

Next time you happen upon something that claims to have an ergonomic design, you can be certain it was built with you – the user – in mind. Whether it makes your task more comfortable or more efficient, you can rest assured that it was designed not only to increase your enjoyment of its use but also to make you better at using it as well.

For those who may suffer from chronic spine conditions, ergonomic furniture may not be able to provide you with the pain relief you need to make it through the day. Marc Cohen and the spine experts at the Spine Institute have experience helping the people of the New Jersey area alleviate back pain through patient-specific methods. Contact the Spine Institute at one of our many locations to schedule your appointment today.