What Does Ergonomics Mean?

Ergonomics (which is rooted in Greek, with ergon meaning “work” and nomoi meaning “natural processes”) refers to the optimization of physical hardware to benefit the health of the user. It is a science that is applied to technology in everything from the shape of a mouse to the order of keys in a keyboard.


Techopedia Explains Ergonomics

The science of ergonomics is constantly evolving, as new information is gradually discovered about human health and how it relates to human tools and workspaces. Factors that comprise ergonomics include environmental context, long-term and short-term health benefits and hazards, and the balance of product functionality with human comfort and dexterity.

Perhaps one of the greatest ergonomic developments in recent technology has been the mobile revolution that was accelerated by the smartphone and subsequent mobile devices. This innovation has allowed people to access and interact with the internet without the constraints of the old personal computing environment configuration. Now, people have many more options in terms of how to engage with technology, making the focus on health and comfort much easier.


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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.