Ergonomics is a Greek origin word deriving from the words Ergon and Nomos (Ergon meaning work, and Nomos meaning laws). Ergonomics harmonizes humans and work by considering the physiological and psychological structure of humans. The principal aim of ergonomics is to create a labor force with optimum effectiveness as well as protect employee health and increase work efficiency. Ergonomics focuses on people; it sets out necessary conditions for fitting the work to people as well as people to the work.

The primary figure in ergonomics is F.W. Taylor, who, in the second half of the 18th century, developed the notion of proper arrangement of work. He worked on systems whereby workers work more efficiently and organized. Other noteworthy milestones in the study of ergonomics are the “time and motion study” developed by the Gilberth family, Frank Bunker Gilberth, Sr. and his wife Lilian Gilberth, a psychologist, and the “oxygen consumption” studies by C.G. Douglas.

During World War II, the focus of scientific research shifted towards experimental psychology. Ergonomics became the subject of extensive studies, especially in the US. Subsequently, ergonomics transformed into a multidisciplinary subject based on psychology, physiology, sociology and medicine.