Back pain, a major ergonomic related condition


The Merriam Webster dictionary defines ergonomics as an applied science concerned with designing and arranging things people use so that the people and things interact most efficiently and safely.
So, the sum total of things done to reduce the effects of the use of equipment or of processes to the human element is termed ergonomics.

Ergonomics is both a science and an art. As a science, inquiry is made into how the human body is affected by particular activities and what aspects of the activities impact most on the body. Furthermore, the science of ergonomics seeks to make activities have little strain to the human body through the design of machines and processes.

The art of ergonomics defines the behavioral and human management aspects of ergonomics. It includes managing the willingness of workers to follow established guidelines for ergonomic activities and the worker’s personal disposition to ergonomic issues. Policy making and implementation are also subsumed in the art of ergonomics.

Here are a few ergonomic related issues

  1. Work chair and table design: height of table, distance between table and chair, and backrest and handrest design
  2. Work equipment design: position of control buttons and user interface
  3. Load carrying: posture, reach, duration and frequency
  4. Noise and auditory disturbances
  5. Design of PPEs: fit and ease of use
  6. Research and Development in improving ergonomics

The art of ergonomics

  1. State guidelines for activities and make them readily available as pocket size handbooks and posters
  2. Keep safety consciousness high through periodic workshops
  3. Make ergonomic safety priority through rewards to deserving workers and involvement of top management

Learn more about occupational safety and become a certified safety professional; take the online SHELL-UNN HSE course.

Get job updates and insightful information on occupational safety follow us on twitter.


Chinedu is passionate about occupational safety and health. He keeps following trends in industrial safety. Chinedu currently lives in Ikare-Akoko, Ondo State, Nigeria.

View all posts by

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *