Computers are an integral part of life for many people. At home, in school and at work, as computer use increases, concern about computer related injury has spawned new and given renewed purpose to existing associations and organizations.

The increasing instances of injury resulting from intense computer use has fueled the need for equally intense research into ways to prevent and cure these debilitating and costly health problems.

The problem, however, is growing. As new "smart" technology enables increased production by reducing user input, those movements that do remain become more repetitive, hence more injurious.

Throughout the world, governments are stepping in with new regulations to make employers aware of the problem and to prevent them from abusing their workers.

Universities are turning up the heat on research as well as developing programs to train students to be aware of what the computer is DOING to them.

Don't forget, however, that "Big Brother" isn't the solution. We all have to be aware of the dangers of improper work and play habits and do something about it for ourselves and our children.

Association, Organization and University Sites

The International Ergonomics Association is the association of ergonomics and human factors societies around the world. Their site includes a directory of educational programs in ergonomics.

ErgoWeb Inc. was established January 1, 1995 to market, distribute, maintain, and improve the software products resulting from research in the Ergonomics and Design group in the University of Utah's Department of Mechanical Engineering. Their website contains considerable ergonomics information, products, case studies, instructional materials, standards and guidelines, communication opportunities, ergonomics related news, and more.

Dr. Enrique Bonilla Rodriguez of the Universidad Autonoma Metropolitana U. Xochimilco, Mexico, has provided their website of the Laboratory of Human Factors/Ergonomics, which offers a good overview of the issues facing modern ergonomists.

Designed for Learning A design studio taught by the University of Michigan College of Architecture and the School of Art. Issues include how people work and learn, the impacts of the physical/ambient environment on working/learning, collaborative and individual learning, informal and formal learning, nomadic work/mobile technology, privacy/communality continuum - team and group learning.

From the same Ann Arbor center for learning, The University of Michigan Center for Ergonomics is a multi-disciplinary organization devoted to education and research in ergonomics, the study of work and the efficiency and safety of human-machine systems.

The UCSF/UCB Ergonomics Program endeavors to improve understanding of the mechanisms leading to upper extremity musculoskeletal disorders, such as tendonitis and carpal tunnel syndrome, and identify and evaluate equipment designs and work practices that reduce excessive stresses on tissues in order to prevent these disorders from developing.

Ergonomics - Fitting the Workplace to the Worker from the Environment, Health & Safety Office, University of California-San Diego, provides access to information about ergonomics, cumulative trauma injuries and their prevention.

The Ergonomics Research Laboratory at Michigan State University is currently involved in a wide variety of multi-disciplinary research and fee-for-service projects. The scope of these projects range from postural biomechanics to seating comfort. We measure subjects in their work environment using techniques such as pressure distribution, three-dimensional video imaging and questionnaires in our research investigations.

Project on People, Computers, and Design at Stanford University. Created to promote teaching and research in areas of human-computer interaction and software design. It is directed by Terry Winograd, and has been funded by the National Science Foundation, Interval Research, and the Center for the Study of Language and Information. The project provides a focus for a number of related activities in the area of human-computer interaction design.
Job Accommodation Network (JAN) An international toll-free consulting service that provides information about job accommodations and the employability of people with disabilities. JAN also provides information regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Aztech, a not-for-profit, community-based enterprise, by and for persons with disabilities. The name AZtech, Inc. stands for A to Z assistive TECHnology. AZtech is operated by the Rehabilitation Engineering Research Center on Technology Evaluation and Transfer (RERC-TET). The RERC-TET is supported by a grant from the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, U.S. Department of Education.

The Computerized Anthropometric Research and Design (CARD) Labs is part of the Fitts Human Engineering Division of Armstrong Laboratories at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio, established as a center for anthropometry research in support of ergonomics and body size issues.

The Crew System Ergonomics Information Analysis Center (CSERIAC) Sources of up-to-date human factors information for designers, engineers, researchers, and human factors specialists.

The Ergonomics Consortium is a network of independent consultants, specialists in the many fields concerned with office health, safety, and productivity.

The Human Factors Engineering Center at Virginia Tech has published a number of fascinating studies from their laboratories online.

HFES, the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society promotes the science and practice of human factors/ergonomics by integrating scientific research with the development of technical standards through partnerships with industry, government, and educational institutions.

The Liberty Mutual Research Center for Safety and Health offers a considerable amount of information on biomechanics and work physiology.

National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) offers Musculoskeletal Disorders (MSDs) and Workplace Factors, a critical review of epidemiologic evidence for work-related musculoskeletal disorders of the neck, upper extremity, and low back.

The OSHWEB index of occupational safety and health resources on the Internet provides a good starting point for locating occupational safety and health information.

Mikael Ericsson of ASLAB, a research laboratory at the Department of Computer and Information Science at Linköping University in Sweden, offers Human-Computer Interaction Resources on the Net, a nicely organized and extensive directory of web sites, newsgroups and publications.

SafetyLine, an on-line information service provided by WorkSafe Western Australia, offers a lot of information on safety issues both at work and in the home.

How to List Your Company or Organization in the Ergonomics Resources Index
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