• Stephen Pheasant


The science of ergonomics is a little more than 40 years old. In its present form it dates back to World War II and the years which followed (although it has recognizable antecedents which can be traced back much further). Its founders were a group of British scientists, who had been working for the armed services on various projects concerned with the efficiency of the fighting man. (The group included anatomists, physiologists, psychologists and engineers.) They believed that a multidisciplinary scientific approach to the study of working efficiency could be equally relevant to industry under peacetime conditions. But there did not seem to be a name for this area of research, so they had to invent one. After some deliberation they decided upon ergonomics. The word is derived from the Greek: ergos, work; nomos, natural law.


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© S. T. Pheasant 1991

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  • Stephen Pheasant

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