Saturday, June 30, 2007

Students' Posture While Using Computers May Be as Important as Total Hours of Computer Use With Regard to Musculoskeletal Discomfort

An Office Ergonomics Research Committee, Inc.(OERC)study ...

"Researchers at the Office Ergonomics Research Committee (OERC) Marconi conference reported that students who reported frequently assuming awkward postures when working with a computer, were, compared to other students, more likely to report musculoskeletal discomfort in several body regions, including the eyes, neck, and back. Dr. Carolyn Sommerich, of The Ohio State University, recommends that, "Similar to the recommendations provided to adults, children should be encouraged to take periodic breaks from any computer they use, in order to give eyes and other body parts a break from sustained, and sometimes awkward postures adopted while using the computer." Sommerich, who is studying computer usage among high school juniors and seniors in a high school with a well-developed technology program, found that 92% of the participants reported using a Tablet PC "daily or almost every day." A sample of 13 students who used special software to monitor their daily computer use averaged about 1.7 hours of active computer use (e.g., mousing and keying) per day.

Dr. Karen Jacobs, of Boston University, who has been studying notebook computer usage among seventh- and eighth-grade students in Maine, used similar software to monitor average daily computer use and found it to range between 3 to 5.5 hours per week. Jacobs reported that ergonomics training, which included recommendations for desirable postures, information on breaking up long periods of computer use, and the use of auxiliary keyboards and mice, was effective at improving students' computing work habits."    (Continued via EarthTimes.org)    [Ergonomics Resources]

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