Anthropometrics workshop organized by Interior Design at TRYTOON ACADEMY, Bhubaneswwar, Odisha.Anthropometrics is the study of the human body and its movements, especially in terms of its measurements, but ergonomics is the scientific discipline that involves designing products and environments to match the individuals who use them. While anthropometrics involves the systematic measurement of the physical properties of the human body (height, weight, shape, arm length, etc.), ergonomic involves incorporating anthropometric data in designing products and environments. For instance, anthropometrics may involve measuring the circumference of heads of a target population and obtaining an average value whereas ergonomics may use this average head circumference value to design safety helmets.Interior Design students have made their own human figure to analyze the perfect measurements of body posers.
Anthropometrics involve research that includes measurements of the human body while ergonomics involves using anthropometric data when designing products to improve user experience. The primary difference between anthropometrics and ergonomics is their focus and use. Anthropometric data helps designers to design their project. For instance, when designing a hairdryer, measurements like the average height of users and length of average arms become useful to decide the shape of handle and distance to be held from the head. When taking measurements form a target population for a specific product design, designers generally derive an average value (midpoint) as the final measurement. Anthropometrics plays an important role in various fields such as furniture design, interior design, clothing design, architecture, and ergonomics.
Ergonomics is the scientific discipline of designing products and environments to match the people who use them. It incorporates anthropometric data when designing products to improve user experience. For example, when you manufacture a door handle, you use the measurements of the hand to design the shape and size of the handle. The same theory applies to designing various products such as furniture, vehicles, clothes, etc.
On occasions, designers don’t use anthropometric data in designing products, it may lead to users’ discomfort, pain or even injury. Moreover, size, shape, weight, the position of controls, etc. are measurements that contribute to ergonomic designing.In addition to anthropometric data, ergonomics also uses data from several disciplines such as biomechanics (muscles, forces, strength, levers) and environmental physics (noise, heat, cold, light, radiation, etc.)Ergonomists can help us identify which user characteristics we should take into account during your design process. This is important when we consider how much individuals vary in terms of:
- body size
- sensory sensitivity
- mental ability
CATEGORIES OF ERGONOMICS: There are three broad areas of ergonomics, namely-
Physical ergonomics looks at how human anatomical, anthropometric, physiological and biomechanical characteristics relate to physical activity. This includes:
- working postures
- manual handling
- repetitive movements
- musculoskeletal disorders
- workplace layout and environment
Psychological ergonomics studies mental processes (eg perception, cognition, memory, reasoning and emotion) and how people interact with products, systems and environments. This includes:
- mental workload
- human-computer interaction
- human reliability
- cultural differences
Organizational ergonomics is about optimizing the organizational structures, policies and processes of socio-technical systems. This includes:
- work design
- staff resource management
- working time patterns
- co-operative work
- quality management
- organizational culture
To ensure that you keep your end users’ needs in focus at all times, you should make ergonomists an integral part of your design development team.