Ergonomics and Human Factors are multidisciplinary science based on the concept involved in the study of human behavior and interaction with machine tools. It needs great input from psychology, engineering, statistics and more. That means Ergonomics and Human Factors are a kind of bridge science between Medical Science and Technology. Statistically, the major input for development, progress and research on Ergonomics and Human Factors, on the part of Medical Science is mainly contributed by the Psychiatrists and Orthopedic Surgeons. We must understand why the input from others is needed for the progress of Ergonomics and Human Factors.
Take a simple example of a tooth brush. You must have noticed, the design of the new generation toothbrushes are not the same those were in 1985. The reason is, many dental surgeons contributed a lot to grow the technology of toothbrush for Ergonomics. Brushing tooth is not a simple event. It is a learned behavior. During the initial phase of brushing, our brain works intensively. The underlying psychology is – “If I do not brush my teeth, it will get diseased.” When a machine tool with this psychology is held, it is held quite tightly. That is why in modern toothbrushes, you will notice the area where our thumb rests.
What Human Factors has to do with Ergonomics
Human factor is the human contribution involved in an event. This concept involved in the study of human behavior interaction with their environment. Human factor is usually synonymous with usability. human factor related with psychology, the mechanisms that exist between what is perceived by human and conscious and unconscious reactions that result. For example the emotion created by the sight of a fine art photography or listening to a melody involving many elements stored in memory, including his experience. Understanding of its mechanisms is part of human factors. Human factor also concerns the study of reasons leading to human error. An example is what a pilot does error or the programming errors.
Ergonomics is the study of the interaction of human behavior in the workplace is also part of human factors. It concerns the adequacy between the man and his environment in the workplace. These include for example the study of forms of motorcycle helmets to ensure comfort and safety corresponding to the entire population.
Now, your head and my head is not exactly the same. But the helmet manufacturer have to manufacture a helmet which will fit 99.9% of the helmet users rightly. So, input from the Medical Science is important to get the statistics of median of the head’s architecture. Most helmets can fit from the 1st percentile of the biggest head to 99th percentile of the smallest head. This is ergonomics.
Ergonomics is multidisciplinary. Ergonomics focuses on the activity that stresses the understanding of the work situation as a whole, the analysis of demand and the scope of the intervention and the distinction between prescribed work and real work.
A person with a problem with a curvature of feet can not wear a normal shoe. So, some Orthopedic surgeons has worked and continuously working to customize the shoes, so that universal shoes can be produced at a less cost for that particular disease.