Blog 1: What is Human Factors and Ergonomics?

Human factors and ergonomics are the studies that analyze “human capabilities, limitations, requirements and expectations in the design of products, workplaces and work systems” (Sutton, 2015). People who work in this field perform studies and do research in order to reduce human error and increase safety. Human factors is an interdisciplinary field, “viewed from the unified perspective of the science, engineering, design, technology, and management of human-compatible systems” (Salvendy, 2012). These contributing perspectives are shown in Figure 1 below.

Figure 1. (Solvency, 2012)

As a junior majoring in cognitive and brain sciences, I have studied many things related to human factors without realizing it. I am very excited to finally be taking a class solely dedicated to engineering psychology. My interest in this field began when I was abroad this fall in Barcelona. I did a project on The Hospital de Sant Pau and learned about how it worked well as a hospital because of its design. The architect included many windows and green spaces because “access to nature reduces stress associated with the typical clinical environment and has a positive healing effect on patients” (“Hospital Plants Green ‘Healing’ Roof,” 2011). After learning this, I began to do more research on design of workplaces and other environments. Here is a link to a virtual tour of the hospital: https://www.santpaubarcelona.org/en/virtual-visit it is a very interesting and innovative place.

With this blog I will talk about human factors in ergonomics in relation to home design. I plan to analyze room layout, colors, furniture, and other design components.

Image of the Sant Pau Hospital showing the many windows and healing, green tiles.
Source: Santpaubcn. Photo of Hospital Interior. 2017, https://www.instagram.com/p/BdNAFvFA7wC/

Works Cited

“Hospital Plants Green ‘Healing’ Roof.”Green Places, no. 72, 2011.

Salvendy, Gavriel. Handbook of Human Factors and Ergonomics. 4th ed., John Wiley & Sons Inc., 2012.

Sutton Ian. “Human Factors and Ergonomics.” Plant Design and Operations, Elsevier, 2015.

2 thoughts on “Blog 1: What is Human Factors and Ergonomics?

  1. I really enjoy the way the architect used curtain walls to give an open feel to the hospital. I think the patients ability not only to look out and see nature, but to also be able to see the daily traffic of the city really helps to reduce the feel of being caged within the building. I also think the color choice is essential to helping build the open feel, as it does a good job imitating the colors of the surrounding area. Maybe if the hospital also employed the use of therapy dogs, then the patients would feel even more connected to their normal life.

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