Hello, I am a student at Nottingham Trent University, curently in my final year. My working title for my dissertation is,
‘Is ergonomics falsely advertised?’
Does anyone know of any specific products, not neccessarily just for the workplace, that are labelled/advertised as being ‘ergonomic’ but really aren’t.
Any information you can give me will be most apreciated.
Parasuco actually advertises a pair of jeans as being "ergonomic". I have always found this to be interesting. Here is a study on determining the ergonomics of jeans.
Wow. I never would have thought to investigate jeans. It would be interesting to study a working (manufacturing for example) population.
In this month’s ‘Ergonomist’ (produced by the UK’s Ergonomics Society) there’s a photocopy of somebody’s personal ad in a newspaper. A woman has described herself as having an ‘ergonomic sense of humour’….?!
Unfortunately the word is can be misused by consultants in reports and is used in quite a misleading way. Another of my favourites is "ergonomics problems". The problems result from poor desing and hopefully ergonomics should resolve the problem. (Unless they resulted from a poor ergonomic design in the first place).
A while ago I bought a bass clarinet. Its top selling feature was its ergonomic design. From what I can see that may well be true. But without a reference point iti is hard to tell.
Have a Merry Christmas
A lot of products are advertised as "ergonomic" and what this usually means is that the maker has identified some feature or features of that product as being "ergonomic" – it may be anything from handle size to control location to seat design, ad infinitum. This can be misleading, either intentionally or unintentionally. What truly makes a product "ergonomic" is not just one or more design features BUT how that product is used – the conditions under which it is used and by whom is using it. I can have an "ergonomic" hand tool but I may be using it in a very unergonomic way. As an example, anti-vibration features of power tools are often advertised as "ergonomic" features but I may use them on work piece materials and under conditions (including exposure) that still result in excessive vibration. Being "ergonomic’ is not just a motely collection of ergonomic features but a holistic and systematic approach to how something is designed AND used.
Bob Fox Ph.D., CPE
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