Ergonomics is for analyzing, understanding, and designing human work properly. As a result: physical, cognitive, and organizational changes may be suggested. While nowadays many of the specialists still work with simple methods, the research seeks motion capture, collaborative robots, and digital solutions in the industry 4.0 framework. But still, the basics of human capabilities should be kept in mind.
Cognitive skills allow us to perceive the direct reality that affects us at the moment: called direct cognitive processes, including sensing, perception, and attention. These are responsible for receiving stimuli from the surrounding world. If perception is hindered humans need more effort for doing the same tasks. Vision can be set back by inappropriate lighting conditions, while too much noise can vignette our hearing, etc. By using more energy for the same task humans get exhausted easier and sooner. If the primary processes are disturbed, there will be problems in the indirect cognitive processes like thinking, remembering, and imagination.
In the case of physical ergonomics, the main focus is on assessing the factors of physical activities necessary for carrying out work tasks. Fatigue is a decrease in the level of exertion due to physical activity. For more intensive stimuli the muscles first react with fatigue and the need for longer regeneration periods. If there is higher exposure, then there might be an increase in strength, but only in case, the regeneration periods are provided as well. Otherwise, with high-intensity physical activity, energy stores are depleted rapidly. Increased exertion may occur if the work process is not designed well, or the work environment requires forced postures.
Organizational factors such as work ambient, over or underload of employees may lead to fatigue or frustration, and with that the higher level of stress for completing tasks.
Any of the above-mentioned handicaps or a mixture of them may lead to decreased concentration. Resulting in a slower work pace, overstepping the limits of tolerance. People under stress, over the boundaries of their power, are more likely to make mistakes and cause or accidents. By that, it is definite that providing suitable working conditions contributes to better health and safety circumstances. Adapting ergonomics is a safety improvement as well.
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