“The study of peoples’ efficiency
in their working environment.”

Greek: Ergon (work). Nomoi (Natural Law)

Refinement of designed products to optimise them for human use and the application of psychological and physiological principles around the design of products, processes and systems – to reduce human discomfort thereby improving productivity, safety and error with specific focus on the interaction between the human and the item of interest.


It started in WW2 where the designers of fighter cockpits examined the pilot and how they interacted with the controls in their cockpit – the aim? To make the cockpit intuitive and easy to use.

It grew as a study to include everything that a human does. This is really the beginnings of people centred design.

So instead of us conforming to the technology, it conforms to us.


Not all bodies are the same. In evaluating comfort at a workstation one should never generalise an ideal position based on say, height.

Anthropometric studies are used to help understand the differences in certain measurements of people in a population.

An issue that dominates work place ergonomics is that the Furniture Industry, which is more concerned with Ergonomics, has no real business relationship with the technology suppliers who generally, are less concerned with Ergonomics.

This leads to a mismatch, ergonomically, for a person working with a desk and the IT equipment required to do their work.

Good Ergonomic design means understanding: The fit between the user, equipment and environment to suit each individual.