alexa Where is the Learner in Ergonomics?

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Where is the Learner in Ergonomics?

Ergonomics can be broadly defined as the understanding of interactions among people and other elements of a system in order to optimize human well being and overall system performance. The Human Factors and Ergonomics Society recognize 23 technical groups that are concerned with the ergonomic aspects of specific application areas ( Although these 23 technical groups cover a very broad range of the field, none focus on the issue of the human as an adaptive and constantly evolving part of the system. More specifically, ergonomic standards for safe work performance are largely based on the observation and performance of experienced workers. However, from the motor learning literature we know that the novice performer moves with more co-contraction, utilizes greater degrees of freedom when moving, generates more force than necessary and often moves with sub-optimal biomechanical postures when compared to skilled performers [1]. All of these factors can lead to increased injury if continued over a period of time. Therefore, in this paper we aim to highlight a growing need to consider the trainee when looking at ergonomic issues. We will mainly use examples derived from the growing field of ergonomics in healthcare, which is our research group’s primary area of expertise. In this particular domain, trainees often work long hours and are required to perform under sleep deprived conditions.

Citation: Carnahan H, Dubrowski A, Walsh C, Williams C (2012) Where is the Learner in Ergonomics? J Ergonom 2:e108. doi: 10.4172/2165-7556.1000e108.

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