Considering ergonomic factors for children at schools - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Considering ergonomic factors for children at schools


Students: Maryam Bagherazari Kosar Roshani Introduction Ergonomic definition Why childrens? Why schools? Language of ergonomy Challenge Controls Engineering ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Considering ergonomic factors for children at schools

Considering ergonomic factors for children at
  • Students Maryam Bagherazari
  • Kosar Roshani

  • Ergonomic definition
  • Why childrens?
  • Why schools?

Language of ergonomy
  • Challenge
  • Controls
  • Engineering controls
  • Administrative controls
  • Work practice controls

  • Engineering controls
  • eliminate the hazard (problem) at the source
  • Administrative controls
  • decisions made by occupational therapists,
    teachers, school administrators, and parents or
    caregivers to reduce the duration, frequency, and
    severity of exposure to existing hazards. They
    leave the hazards in place but attempt to
    diminish the effects on the youth
  • Work practice controls
  • self-directed, self-initiated strategies used
    to ensure safe and proper techniques when doing

  • Challenge
  • Design of the bags
  • saddlebags or backpacks?
  • Maximum backpacks weight

Person's Weight (lb.) Maximum Backpack Weight (lb.)
Less than 60 3
60 5
60-75 10
100 15
125 18
150 20
200 or more 25
No one should carry more than 25 lb. No one should carry more than 25 lb.
Engineering controls
  • Select backpacks on the basis of the youth's size
    and age.
  • Look for wide, padded, adjustable shoulder
  • Choose backpacks with several compartments for
    better weight distribution.

Administrativ controls
  • Monitor the youth's posture when wearing the
  • Ensure that the youth carries only the items
    required for that particular day
  • Provide youths with information on alternative
    types of backpacks, such as a backpack on wheels
    and The Back Balancer
  • Limit material and books that need to go home
  • Issue a second set of books for the home
  • Purchase books that are bound in sections

Work Practice controls
  • Position the backpack below the shoulders and
    resting on the hips and pelvis
  • Pack heavier items close to the body
  • Stay fit and healthy.
  • Use both straps
  • Replace heavier items with lighter alternatives
    (e.g., a plastic lunch box instead of a metal

Bench chairs
  • Challenge
  • two common postures of school-aged youths
  • Listening
  • Writing and reading

Engineering controls
  • Use multiple sizes of furniture, especially in a
    middle school, where youths have a wide range of
    body sizes
  • Reduce nerve pressure and discomfort with a
    footrest or book under the feet.
  • Use a rolled-Up towel or a small pillow to create
    a lumber support with an angle of 100 or 110

Administrative controls
  • Ask youths about the comfort of the chairs and
    desks at school.
  • Advocate for ergonomically designed furniture or
    modifications to current furniture to the local
    Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) or school
  • Allow youths to choose furniture for themselves
    from the school's existing supplies.
  • Become more knowledgeable in proper body
    mechanics to teach and instruct youths in healthy
  • Use verbal instruction, visuals, and repetitive
    practice tasks when teaching the use of proper
    body mechanics to accommodate different learning
    styles. This information may help youths to work
    more effectively in a classroom setting that does
    not have ideal seating.

Work Practice
  • Use proper body mechanics, such as turning the
    body as a whole.
  • Keep frequently used supplies within reaching
  • Take brief breaks between activities and
    stretching breaks before, during, and after an

ergonomic chair
  • Why is finding the right chair so important?
  • What do you need to know about selecting a good
    "ergonomic" chair?
  • One chair does not fit everyone
  • Collect data about the user's body height
  • No one chair is suitable for every activity
  • Consider maintenance and repair costs

What are the features of a "good" chair?
  • Adjustability - Check to see that seat height is
  • Seat height range - Check whether the seat height
    can be adjusted to the height recommended for the
    worker(s) who will use it. Other chairs may have
    to be selected for very short or tall workers.
  • Backrest - Check to see that the backrest is
    adjustable both vertically and in the frontward
    and backward direction.
  • Seat depth - Select the seats that suit the
    tallest and the shortest users
  • Stability - Check for the stability of the chair
    a five-point base is recommended.

  • Color of blackboard

  • Position of blackboard

Computer workstations
  • Two factors that can contribute to the
    development of RSIs) repetitive strain injury)
  • poor workstation design, including inadequate
    lighting, inappropriate furniture, and poor
    workstation layout.
  • poor work habits, including poor posture and
    sustained periods of computer use.

Work with Computers Work breaks
  • Where the job does not provide adequate breaks
    through task variety, it is recommended that
    short frequent breaks should be taken during
    periods of intensive computer use, i.e. 2-3
    minutes every 20-30 minutes. These breaks should
    include whole body movement. For example, fatigue
    in the back is relived by standing up and walking

Work with Computers Posture
  • The feet are supported on the floor, or a
    footrest (if knees are at greater that 900 )
  • No pressure caused by the front edge of the chair
    seat under the thighs
  • The upper body is upright with the lower back
    firmly supported by the backrest
  • The shoulders are relaxed and not hunched
  • The elbows and upper arm are close to the body
  • The head is upright or slightly inclined forward
    with minimum of strain on the neck
  • Forearms are horizontal and the wrists are
    straight when the fingers are on the keyboard

Work with Computers Chairs
  • Stable (a 5 star base)
  • Adjustable height range suited to the desk
  • A stable, independently adjustable backrest
  • Freely moving castors when used on carpet or
    glides for use on a hard floor surface
  • Armrests are not recommended as they are likely
    to interfere with the ability to move the chair
    close enough to the desk.

Work with Computers Desks
  • Height adjustable desks are the preferred option.
  • For a fixed height desk between 680mm and 720mm
  • The minimum work surface area 1500mm x 900mm and
    the maximum bench thickness 25mm
  • The volume of leg space minimum of 800 wide x
    550mm deep x 580mm high
  • The viewing distance to work between 350 mm and
    780 mm
  • No sharp edges, protrusions or rough surfaces
  • It is recommended that work surface be continuous
    due to increase mouse usage, keyboard and mouse
    are on the same level

Work with Computers Monitors
  • It is recommended that the screen is located
  • at approx arms length away from the user
  • Directly in front of the user
  • Eye level and the bottom can be read without a
    marked inclination of the head
  • No glare and reflections

Work with Computers Mouse
  • To minimize fatigue when using the mouse
  • Place the mouse on a mouse pad to restrict the
    area of movement for the hand and arm
  • Ensure the mouse is used with a straight wrist
  • The mouse pad should be placed as close as
    possible to the keyboard to avoid over-reaching
    with impact on shoulder/neck muscles

Work with Computers Ergonomic Accessories
  • Consider the following when trying to address the
    ergonomic issues
  • A footrest
  • Document holder
  • Monitor stands
  • Screen filter

Work with Computers climate
  • A comfortable temperature range for sedentary
    work is between 210 and 240 C.
  • The optimum range of relative humidity is 40-50.
    Relative humidity below 20 can cause dryness of
    the eyes, nose, throat and build up of static
    charges. Humidity above 80 can cause fatigues.
  • Draughts around the neck and the feet can cause
    muscle contraction.

How can you "fix" your computer workstations?
  • One of the ergonomic factors schools need to
    consider is that students come in a variety of
    sizes and shapes and computer workstations at
    school are most often "one size fits all."
  • Of course, even if the computer workstations at
    your school are woefully ergonomically incorrect,
    there's probably no money to adapt or replace
    them. The real question is What can you do with
    what you have? The answer? More than you think!
    In many cases, you can "fix" your computer
    workstations -- and your students' bad habits --
    without spending a cent!

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  • Auditory effects
  • Nonauditory effects
  • physiological effects
  • motivational effects
  • cognitive effects

Auditory effects
  • The investigations undertaken so far show that
    environmental noise exposure does not have an
    effect on hearing threshold levels of children,
    with the exception of exposure to noise from
    extremely low flying military aircraft. However,
    taken into account the very high noise levels
    present during 24 hours in mega-cities, research
    in this area might show hearing impairment in
    children associated with these very high noise
    exposures. Given the high noise emissions of
    specific toys and equipment, some noisy
    activities may impair the hearing of children.

Nonauditory effects Physiological effects
  • Elevated blood pressure levels in school-aged
    children is associated with living or going to
    school near a major noise source.
  • These elevated blood pressure levels are of
    concern for two reasons.
  • the levels do not habituate with continued
  • elevated pressure levels in children appear to
    continue this pattern into adulthood thereby
    increasing the risk for cardiovascular disease.

Motivational effects
  • Research findings suggest that exposure to
    uncontrollable noise may make children more
    vulnerable to learned helplessness. Learned
    helplessness means that the individual learns
    that the outcomes of it's behavior are
    independent of the actions of the individual.
    Most of this research has been with school-aged
    children, including kindergartners. Teachers in
    noisy schools also report greater difficulty in
    motivating children in their school work.
    Children often had less tolerance for

Cognitive effects
  • Most of the research on the nonauditory effects
    of noise on children has been on cognitive
  • Memory
  • attention/perception
  • academic achievement.

  • The research on memory and noise for children
    parallels that of adults there appears to be
    little or no effects of noise on simple memory.
    This holds true for both chronic and acute
    exposure to noise. However, if the memory task
    requires special attention there does appear to
    be some negative effects of noise. In other
    words, if the individual has to pay particular
    attention because of the difficulty of the task,
    noise may interfere with the memory task.

  • The research on attention suggests that children
    exposed to chronic noise may suffer deficits in
    this area. Children exposed to chronic noise seem
    to develop cognitive strategies for coping with
    the distracting effect of noise. Young children
    (5 years old) from noisy residential environments
    seem to be better able to tune out distracting
    auditory stimuli when asked to perform a
    discrimination task in a noisy environment than
    children from quieter homes. Four year old
    children from noisy day care centers performed
    better under noisy conditions than children from
    quiet day care centers. These young children seem
    to be resistant to the distracting effects of
    noise because they tune out the noise.
  • Noise seems to interfere with children's ability
    to discriminate between meaningful auditory
    stimuli, especially speech. Background noise, in
    particular irrelevant speech, interferes with
    children understanding the spoken word. This may
    have particular implications for children's
    academic performance

Academic achievement
  • Several studies have documented a link between
    noise and academic achievement, in particular
    reading. Acute noise appears to have little long
    term effects on reading or other intellectual
    activities however, the research indicates that
    chronic noise has a negative effect on children's
    reading skills.
  • A recent study by Evans Maxwell (1997)
    identified a link between chronic noise exposure
    and reading. This finding suggests that there is
    selective screening out of auditory stimuli by
    children in chronic noise settings. Another
    possibility is that speech is used differently in
    noisy settings than in quiet settings and
    children miss learning certain language skills.
    Nevertheless language skills related to speech
    seem also to be related to reading skills. It is
    worth noting that the attentional research also
    found that noise interfered with children's
    discrimination of speech.

  • Chronic exposure to noise has been shown to be
    harmful to children of various ages. It can have
    especially detrimental effects on younger
    children when language and discrimination skills
    are forming. Sometimes major noise sources are
    not in the control of teachers or designers.
    However, as this study documents, sometimes the
    noise source is the design of the spaces.
    Designers should keep in mind the use of the
    spaces they are creating. In child care centers,
    spaces must allow for the fact that children need
    to make noise but the subsequent noise levels
    should not be harmful to them or others in the

  • studies have indicated that the colors in a
    classroom can affect how students behave and
    perform .
  • When discussing color with school districts, it
    is important to approach color choices as
    functional color rather than from a standpoint of

Impact of color
  • The following are the results of the variety of
    tests conducted on the impact of color in the
  • Relieves eye fatigue
  • Increases productivity and accuracy
  • Aids in wayfinding
  • Supports development processes

Guidelines for academic environments
  • Preschool and Elementary school prefer a warm,
    bright color scheme that compliments their
    natural extroverted nature .
  • Cool colors are recommended for upper grade and
    secondary classrooms for their ability to focus
  • Hallways can have more colored range than in the
    classroom and be used to give the school a
    distinctive personality.
  • Libraries utilize a light green creating an
    effect that enhances quietness and concentration.

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