The term “ergonomics” is derived from two Greek words: “ergon”, meaning work and “nomoi”, meaning natural laws. Ergonomists study human capabilities in relationship to work demands.
In recent years, ergonomists have attempted to define postures which minimize unnecessary static work and reduce the forces acting on the body. All of us could significantly reduce our risk of injury if we could adhere to the following ergonomic principles:
- All work activities should permit the worker to adopt several different, but equally healthy and safe postures.
- Where muscular force has to be exerted it should be done by the largest appropriate muscle groups available.
- Work activities should be performed with the joints at about mid-point of their range of movement. This applies particularly to the head, trunk, and upper limbs.
The University of California at Santa Barbara, as part of UCSB Business Services, is committed to providing employees and students with a comprehensive, responsive and informative ergonomics program. The scope of operations includes: Training and Self Help Resources, an ergonomics evaluation process, recommended ergonomically safe furnishings and products and easy access to the evaluator team for on-site, one-on-one support.
MRL staff and students should address all ergonomic concerns to the MRL staff representative Fuzzy Rogers, extension 4495, or you can reach him via email fuz [at] mrl [dot] ucsb [dot] edu.
An informative video regarding workstation comfort, and other ergonomic issues is available on the official UCSB Ergonomics website.