Ergonomics is concerned with designing objects and spaces for maximum utility by the people who use them. This program provides a thorough overview as it explores the history of ergonomics; discusses the key ergonomic principles of safety, comfort, ease of use, productivity and performance, and aesthetics; and presents a variety of specific examples of ergonomics in everyday life, including a vegetable peeler, an adjustable car seat, the Rotasole sports shoe, architect Steven Last’s “The Last Beach House,” and a shopping mall. The evolution of ergonomics, with its growing emphasis on how user-centered design and manufacturing impact the natural environment, is considered as well. (20 minutes)
According to some environmental experts, the air inside our homes and offices could be more polluted than the outdoor air in the largest cities. Radon, mold, household cleaning products, and secondhand smoke are only a few elements that may pose health risks. This program examines the issue in detail and illustrates ways to improve indoor air quality. Case studies include a nonsmoker diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer whose basement was found to contain high levels of radon, and a woman whose exposure to household mold almost ended her life. In addition to commentary from Dallas Jones, Chairman of the American Radon Policy Coalition, the program also features two indoor air quality experts, Mark McGowan and Jeffrey Ayers. (25 minutes)
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