Friday, 16 September 2011


Caulton and Dickson (2007) defines ergonomics as the, “ability to constantly make slight invisible adjustments to an activity to adapt to the need of those taking part and ensure that it continues to work for its intended purpose” (p.93). This means that ergonomics is therefore the ability to change anything necessary in the environment, with the occupation, or the person to enable the activity to be more suitable, comfortable and appropriate while continuing to be the same activity. 

Ergonomics are therefore applied frequently with my chosen occupation of playing cards. For example one of the slight changes that often occurs when playing cards are the changes in rules. This happens for a number of reasons however it is mostly due to the specific people playing the game. When playing with younger children for example it is common that older players will opt to take out a few of the more complex rules, for example when playing Last Card a few of the ‘action’ cards may not be played, such as ‘7’ for a block or ‘Jack’ as a reverse.

Another way ergonomics is seen when participating in playing cards is in the environment; it is important to have the right amount of chairs at the table for the amount of players; to be in a well-lit place to be able to see what’s going on; and to be aware of anything that may disturb the game such as a breeze or any distracting noises or surroundings. All of these are often addressed without consciously being aware that you’re doing so however it is going to make the activity of playing cards efficient and more enjoyable and it is therefore done automatically.


Caulton, R., & Dickson, R. (2007). What’s going on? Finding an explanation for what we do. In J. Creek & A. Lawson-Porter (Eds.), Contemporary issues in occupational therapy (pp. 87-114). Chichester: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.


  1. Hi Nancy
    I really enjoyed reading this blog on ergonomics and how you need to consider things such as the environment and abilities of people when playing card games. I wonder if you have thought about the different motivations of the people playing the game.. if for example you are playing with highly competitive people would you play differently yourself?



  2. Hi Anna

    I hadn't thought about that, however I think that I would change how I played cards depending on those I was playing with. Especially as I am quite competitive myself that having someone else play that way I would likely do the same without even really realising it!

    :-) Nancy