Ergonomics literally means the science or study of work. It is about designing for people, wherever they interact with products, systems or processes. We usually don’t notice good design (unless perhaps, it’s exceptional) because it gives us no cause to, but we do notice poor design.
The emphasis within ergonomics is to ensure that designs complement the strengths and abilities of people and minimise the effects of their limitations, rather than forcing them to adapt. In achieving this aim, it becomes necessary to understand and design for the variability represented in the population, spanning such attributes as age, size, strength, cognitive ability, prior experience, cultural expectations and goals.
Qualified ergonomists are the only recognised professionals to have competency in optimising performance, safety and comfort. The IEHF is the only body in the UK managing and representing this competency. Researchers study the biomechanical, physiological and cognitive effects of work on people, or users’ understanding of processes, or the efficiency of systems.