HLTH173 Lecture Notes - Lecture 13: Human Interface Guidelines, Human Factors And Ergonomics, Special Education In The United Kingdom

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HLTH 173 – Week Seven Notes
What is the study of anthropometrics (human measurement) concerned with?
-Physical sizes and shapes of humans (human body dimensions)
-Differences between/among different populations are of particular interest
(Ex. Men vs. women, Northern Europeans vs. Japanese)
Where else can anthropometric information be applied in ergonomics?
-Occupational Biomechanics – Used in conjunction with information about
external loads to assess the stress imposed on worker’s joints and muscles
during the performance of work
What are the 6 types of variability?
1. Age:
oStature changes quickly from childhood to adulthood (Starts to
decrease after 35-40 years)
oOther measurements such as weight and chest circumference may
increase up to 60 years, and then start to decline
2. Sex:
oAdult men are taller and larger (on average) than adult women
oAdult female dimensions are about 92% of corresponding adult male
values (on average)
3. Racial and Ethnic Group:
oDifferent groups can have different average proportions – Ex. US Air
Force studies found that Japanese are shorter in stature, but that
sitting height does not differ from American pop
oIf a piece of equipment was designed to fit 90% of US male population,
it would fit roughly 90% of Germans, 80% of Frenchmen, 65% of
Italians, 45% of Japanese, 25% of Thai, and 10% of Vietnamese
4. Occupational:
oDifferences between those working in different occupational groups –
Ex. Basketball players vs. Truck drivers vs. Ballet dancers
5. Generational or Secular:
oGrowth in stature of American population of about 1 cm per decade
since the 1920s appears to be slowing down or possibly even
completely stopped
oNewer trends such as obesity should be considered
6. Transient Diurnal (Daily Fluctuations):
oBody weight varies by up to 1 kg per day due to changes in water
content
oStature may be reduced by up to 5 cm due to gravitational
compression on spinal disks
oChest circumference changes with breathing
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What is said to be the best method of anthropometric data collection?
-Nobody’s “normal,” so only way to understand requirements at population
level is to survey
-Text has nice summary of many measurements based on civilian and military
data (Can be used to help cater design of product/system to user
demographics)
What are the 2 main methods of statistical analysis?
1. Normal (Gaussian) Distribution – Most commonly used statistical
distribution method because it approximates most anthropometric data
quite closely
oCan be visualized as a symmetrical, bell-shaped curve
o2 key parameters = Mean and Standard deviation
2. Percentiles – Represents the percentage of the population with a body
dimension of a certain size or smaller (Important in design because it helps
us estimate the percentage of a user population that will be accommodated
by a specific design)
oFor normal distribution, the 50th-percentile value is equivalent to the
mean of the distribution*
What is the issue with large-scale anthropometric data methods and what has
it lead to?
-Large-scale anthropometric surveys are time consuming, labour-intensive,
and expensive
-Significant gaps exist in the world anthropometric database – Most surveys
were done only with special populations (Ex. Pilots or military personnel);
Civilian data either does not exist for some populations, or is extremely
limited in scope (Collected years ago and not accurately representative of
current population)
What is the most recently reported civilian anthropometric effort?
-The CAESAR (Civilian American and European Surface Anthropometry
Resource) Project – Measured 2,500 European and 2,500 US civilian men
and women of varying weights and ages (b/w 18 and 65)
-Used the US Air Force’s full-body scanner to digitally scan the human body to
provide more comprehensive data than was previously available through
traditional measurement methods, and to produce 3D data on the size and
shape of the human body
What’s the deal with the discrepancy between civilian and military personnel
data?
-Surveys of civilian population were usually very limited in scope
-Although measurements of military personnel are most extensive and up to
date, there can still be significant differences b/w the military + civilian pops
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-Ex. It was found that industrial worker of 95th-percentile is much heavier
than 95th-percentile US army soldier
What is the current practice in ergonomic design due to the lack of reliable
anthropometric information on civilian populations in the US and worldwide?
-Use military data as estimates of the body dimensions of civilian population
-However, documented differences between 2 parties suggest that designers
need to be cautious of any potential undesirable consequences and be ready
to make necessary adjustments accordingly
What is the difference between structural and functional anthropometric
data?
Structural Anthropometric Data:Functional Anthropometric Data:
-Static Data
-Measurements of body dimensions
taken with body in standard and still
(static) position
-Ex. Stature, shoulder breadth, waist
circumference, length of the
forearm, and width of hand
-More common
-Dynamic Data
-Obtained when body adopts various
working postures (When body
segments move with respect to
standard reference points in space)
-Ex. Reach Envelope – How far your
right hand can reach, for ex.
-More encompassing of potential for
variability
What is the goal of user analysis, and what should we try to avoid in
performing it?
-Strive to capture as broad a description of your users as possible: age,
gender, education level, physical size, physical abilities, familiarity with a
product, other task-relevant skills
-Be careful to avoid Sampling Bias - If you only sample users who use existing
products, you may exclude potential users
What is the fat finger problem?
-Fat Finger Problem - Minimum size of buttons, sliders are often
recommended by software vendors and device manufacturers, but this is not
contribute to the convenience of all users
-Ex. Apple’s Human Interface Guidelines suggest a minimum size of 44 x 44
pixels
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