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What is an Ergonomics Course?

By Tara Barnett
Updated May 17, 2024
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An ergonomics course is a program designed to educate people about achieving the best possible interaction between a workspace and a worker. Usually, this type of course is taken by professionals who are attempting to implement ergonomic design into a workplace in order to minimize potential major injuries due to the buildup of small injuries over time. A designer of furniture or office materials might also be interested in an ergonomics course in order to design items that will be appealing to office managers. Typically, though, this type of course focuses on minimizing cost to the company by optimizing the workspace and the workers.

Some topics that might be covered by an ergonomics course include the basic principles of ergonomics, relevant aspects of human anatomy, and what causes injuries over time. The course might highlight what activities can be deceptively risky for employees, such as sitting with poor posture or typing in a particular way. Precisely which topics are covered depends on who is offering the class and the targeted demographic of the class. Generally, one can expect a large amount of the course to be relevant to office settings, as this is a major area in which ergonomics has become popular.

It is possible to take an ergonomics course online, but there are also physical classes that one can attend. These are often short and can be finished in a single day, but sometimes they extend over longer periods of time. Many government agencies offer courses on ergonomics, as do schools and management training programs.

Often, an ergonomics course is taken in order to change the way an office is run. Sometimes, information learned in the course is implemented into training videos that are then watched by new employees, teaching them how to be efficient and productive workers. Many people find that a course that offers information on how to train others in proper work practices are particularly useful to companies.

The topics covered in an ergonomics course are relevant to employers primarily because workers often receive compensation when it can be demonstrated that an injury is caused by work activities. A company has an interest in keeping workers safe because injuring workers can be expensive. Additionally, improvements suggested by an ergonomics course may improve worker productivity, allowing a company to make more money. While this type of program may help employees, its primary goal is to maximize profit by minimizing monetary losses due to injuries and inefficient practices. This type of course is therefore usually unsuitable for individuals who are simply interested in learning about ergonomic design.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
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