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From Ergonomics to Sports Ergonomics

„Ergonomics is a science in order to obtain the best with the least efforts with the highest satisfaction for the own and public welfare.“
(Wojciech Bogumil Jastrzebowski, 1857)

Jastrzebowski’s approach is still relevant today, and often serves as a model for other definitions. The goals of ergonomics are the increase in performance, but also the increase of satisfaction and well-being of the user.

The term, “ergonomics” is derived from two Greek words and means:

ergon = work, labor


Nomos = law, rule, principle

Thus, ergonomics means the doctrine of the work. In Germany, it is represented by GfA (Gesellschaft für Arbeitswissenschaft/Association of Labor Science) and internationally by the IEA (International Ergonomics Association).

However, with the blurring of clear boundaries between work and leisure time in our postmodern present, ergonomics has expanded into many different areas. Sports as a new field for ergonomics, has the potential to develop to an absolutely unique discipline, the sports ergonomics. It can be compared with the sports medicine, where specific areas of medicine are closely connected with the Sports Science.

A short definition of sports ergonomics is:

"Sports ergonomics deals with the human structuring of socio-technical system in sports."
(Kim Alexander Tofaute, 2009)

The socio-technical system effects on the one hand the people and on the other technical products. In science, ergonomic systems are constantly researched. In the next step, explanatory models are derived from these data. This in turn can be used to make the environment more ergonomic, with the knowledge that can be used in design of products and services.

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