Even in ancient times man wanted to accomplish work successfully with minimum energy input. Man's attitude towards work and the factors that influenced it have been extensively studied by experts in industrial medicine, physiology and psychology, but also by engineers specialists in work study and organization. Unfortunately, research was usually separate and isolated. Therefore, it was necessary to develop a special field of work study in which an interdisciplinary approach would struggle to enlighten and explain all the factors influencing man's work. This field comprises the area of occupational medicine and that of ergonomics. The optimal relationship of the three elements "man--workplace--environment" is determined by ergonomics. To achieve this goal it is necessary to define the influence of technology and environment on man, to establish ergonomic principles, and to carry them out by influencing production and by adapting machines, workplace and environment to man. This is extremely important in the new technological conditions characterized by the application of numerically controlled machines, flexible production, computer-aided activities and informatics-based work. Permanent involvement of industrial medicine in the study of modern production conditions is very important. Classical occupational diseases are vanishing but new ones including work-related diseases are emerging from workplaces ill adjusted to man. Ergonomic research needs to be interdisciplinary so that attitudes can be coordinated and postulations and principles respected when work is performed.