Definitions are always important ti discussion; especially when they involve technical specialties. What do we mean in dentistry when we talk about ergonomics? What makes an ergonomic design ergonomic?
The official IEA definition is "Ergonomics (or human factors) is the scientific discipline concerned with understanding of the interactions among humans and other elements of a system, and the profession that applies theory, principles, data and methods to design, in order to optimize human well-being and overall system performance."
To us, being concerned with designing better dental stools, we use a simpler definition: "Simply put, ergonomics aims to design appliances, systems and tasks in such a way as to improve human safety, health, comfort and performance."
What makes an ergonomic design ergonomic (in dental stools, anyway) is simple, as well, to define.....but very hard to do. The perfect ergonomic design is one that allows the user to perform their tasks without physical damage, discomfort or a dimishment of performance.