Essay by biancacUniversity, Bachelor'sA-, May 2003

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"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 Energy

Human 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...