Skip to main content

Oregon State Flag An official website of the State of Oregon »

What is ergonomics?

Ergonomics is a science with an objective to design workspaces and tools that help people do their jobs and use their tools and other products comfortably and safely. One definition of ergonomics is:

"Ergonomics and human factors use knowledge of human abilities and limitations to design systems, organizations, jobs, machines, tools, and consumer products for safe, efficient, and comfortable human use."

Ask your teacher to help you translate what that really means!!

Here is a symbol used by people who study ergonomics. It is an adaptation of a drawing made by Leonardo DaVinci (a famous artist).


People that work in the field of ergonomics are called "ergonomists" or "human factors specialists." We learn about what humans can do from four different sciences: anthropometry, biomechanics, work physiology, and psychology. Engineers include this in their designs. If you want to learn more, go to the "Scientific Sources" section.