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Glossary of Ergonomic Terms

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Administrative Control
Procedures and methods, set up by the employer, that significantly reduce exposure to risk factors by altering the way in which work is performed; examples include employee rotation, job task enlargement, and adjustment of work pace.
Movement away from the midline of the body.
Movement toward the midline.
Anthropometry is the branch of the human sciences that deals with body measurements.
American National Standards Institute. A private, non-profit membership organization that coordinates voluntary standards activities. ANSI assists with standards-developers and standards users from the private sector and government to reach agreement on the need for standards and establish priorities.
A continuous circular movement of a limb.
Cumulative Trauma Disorders (CTDs)
Term used for injuries that occur over a period because of repeated trauma or exposure to a specific body part, such as the back, hand, wrist and forearm. Muscles and joints are stressed, tendons are inflamed, nerves pinched or the flow of blood is restricted. Common occupational induced disorders in this class include carpal tunnel syndrome, epicondylitis (tennis elbow), tendinitis, tenosynovitis, synovitis, stenosing tenosynovitis of the finger, DeQuervian's Syndrome, and low back pain.
Deviation of the wrist
Placing the wrist side-ways towards the little finger (ulnar deviation) or towards the thumb (radial deviation).
In the direction of the back of the hand.
The act of straightening a joint; movement that brings the members of a limb into or toward a straight position.
Extreme or extensive extension of a joint beyond the straight position (more than 180°).
Extension of the elbow
Opening the angle between the forearm and upper arm, as if straightening the arm.
Extension of the neck
Bending the neck so that the head moves back, as if looking up.
Extension of the shoulder
Placing the upper arm at shoulder back, e.g., to reach back.
Extension of the wrist
Bending the wrist towards the back of the hand (dorsal direction).
The process of bending a limb or decreasing the angle between parts of the body.
Extreme or extensive flexion of a joint beyond the normal bent position.
Flexion of shoulder
Placing the upper arm (at the shoulder) forward, reaching in front.
Flexion of the elbow
Closing the forearm and upper arm angle, bending the arm.
Flexion of the neck
Bending the head forward, as if looking down.
Flexion of the wrist
Bending the wrist towards the palms (palmar direction).
Lateral rotation
Turning away from the midline of the body.
Medial plane
Divides the body into left and right halves (also called mid-saggitalplane).
Medial rotation
Turning toward the midline of the body.
National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health. NIOSH is the institution that provides scientific data upon which OSHA makes recommendations.
Occupational Biomechanics
Occupational Biomechanics is a science concerned with the mechanical behavior of muscuskeletal tissues when physical work is performed.
Occupational Safety and Health Administration. The mission of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is to save lives, prevent injuries and protect the health of America's workers. To accomplish this, federal and state governments must work in partnership with the more than 100 million working men and women and their six and a half million employers who are covered by the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970.
OSHA 200 Log
An OSHA-required form for employers to record and classify occupational injuries and illnesses, and note the extent of each case.
In the direction of the palm of the hand.
Postural muscles
Core muscles that support upright postures.
The downward turning of the palm. Twisting the hand and forearm in the direction of the thumb. The rotation of the forearm to position the palm downward.
Repetitive Strain Injury
Repetitive Motion Injury
Saggital plane
(aka anterior / posterior plane)
An imaginary line that divides the body into right and left halves. Sagittal plane exercises lie on the frontal axis.
Seat reference point (SRP)
A point in the mid-sagittal plane where the seat back and seat pan intersect.
Shoulder abduction
Placing the upper arm (at the shoulder) to the side and away from the body, as if reaching to one side.
The upward turning of the palm, or lying face up.
Supination of hand & forearm
The rotation of the forearm to turn the palm upward. Twisting the hand and forearm in the direction of the little finger (generally, turning the forearm so the thumb is higher
Upper Extremity Cumulative Trauma Disorders
Work Related Upper Limb Disorder