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ergonomics

Ergonomics (from the Greek word ergon meaning work, and nomoi meaning natural laws), is the science of refining the design of products to optimize them for human use. Human characteristics, such as height, weight, and proportions are considered, as well as information about human hearing, sight, temperature preferences, and so on. Ergonomics is sometimes known as human factors engineering.

Computers and related products, such as computer desks and chairs, are frequently the focus of ergonomic design. A great number of people use these products for extended periods of time -- such as the typical work day. If these products are poorly designed or improperly adjusted for human use, the person using them may suffer unnecessary fatigue, stress, and even injury.

This was last updated in September 2007

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