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Research

This page provides a forum for sharing of both published and unpublished completed research and projects currently in progress. If you have papers, abstracts or project descriptions that you would like to contribute to this site, please forward the information to the Web Editor.

To see an overview of the research and applied papers that are available or referenced on this site, please view the Summary Table (opens in a new window).

You will need the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader to view papers from the research table below.
Anthropometrics
Title: An anthropometric and postural risk assessment of children's school computer work environments (1998)
Author(s): Oates, S., Evans, G. and Hedge, A.
Copy of Paper Available?: No
Status: Completed
Contact:  
Abstract/ Description: 
Publication Information: (1998) Computers in the Schools 14, 55-63
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Title: Sex differences in anthropometry for school furniture design (1990)
Author(s): Jeong, B.Y. and Park, K.S.
Copy of Paper Available?: No
Status: Completed
Contact:

Dr. Byung Yong Jeong

Abstract/ Description: This paper is concerned with anthropometric dimensions of young Koreans and their interrelationships for school furniture design. Ten anthropometric measurments were taken from 1248 subjects, age range 6-17. The study investigated sex differences in interrelationships between body dimensions, to provide suitable sizes of chair and desk for boys and girls. The results showed that stature had a high relationship to body dimensions for school furniture design, and that there were significant sex differences in relationships between stature and the body dimensions. In particular, boys above 126 cm in stature required higher desk and chair heights than girls of the same stature. On the other hand, girls above 120 cm in stature required a larger depth and breadth of chair than boys of the same stature
Publication Information:(1990) Ergonomics, Vol. 33, No. 2, pp 1511-1521
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Title: Anthropometric and physiological considerations in school, office, and factory seating(1969)
Author(s): Floyd, W.F., and Word, J.S.
Copy of Paper Available?: No
Status: Completed
Contact:  
Abstract/ Description: 
Publication Information:(1969) Ergonomics, 12, pp 132-139
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Title: Anthropometric data for educational chairs(1969)
Author(s): Oxford, H.W.
Copy of Paper Available?: No
Status: Completed
Contact:  
Abstract/ Description: 
Publication Information:(1969) Ergonomics, 12, pp 140-161
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Computer Use
Title: Classrooms and Computers: An Elementary School Case Study (2001)
Author(s): Bennett, C.L.
Copy of Paper Available?: Yes - View Paper (pdf, 145kb, opens in new window) Reprinted with permission from "Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 44th Annual meeting, 2000." Copyright 2000 by the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society. All rights reserved.
Status: Completed
Contact: Cheryl Bennett
Abstract/ Description: Children now use computers throughout their education. As schools have focused on purchasing computers and providing internet access, there has been little consideration of ergonomics. Even if educators and school administrators acknowledge students would benefit from better ergonomics, they may assume it is too expensive or not know where to begin. This paper describes the processes used to implement low cost ergonomic improvements and provide training for teachers, staff and students in an elementary school.
Publication Information: (2001) Proceedings of the International Society for Occupational Ergonomics and Safety XV Annual Conference, Fairfax, Virginia, USA, International Society for Occupational Ergonomics and Safety.
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Computer and Interactive Media Use
Title:

CAKE (Computers and Kids' Ergonomics): The Musculoskeletal Impact of Computer and Electronic Game Use on Children and Adolescents  (2006)

Author(s):

Gillespie, Robin Mary  Advisor: Manny Halpern
Copy of Paper Available?: Yes - View Paper (pdf, 562kb, opens in new window)
Status: Completed
Contact: Robin Mary Gillespie
Abstract/ Description: Computer and electronic game use were proposed as contributors to neck or upper extremity (NUE) symptoms of pain or discomfort occurring in adolescents. A cross-sectional survey distributed in general education classrooms in a northeastern US city produced 476 analyzable surveys, representing 75% of solicited subjects and 10% of the entire school population age 12-18. Subjects reported frequency, average daily duration and typical longest period of computers at school, computers at home, TV-based games, and hand-held games, as well as symptoms occurring in the past month and symptoms frequency and intensity ratings.
In unconditional logistic regression analyses adjusted for gender, age and race, frequent home computer users (daily or almost daily) were at increased odds of reporting NUE symptoms compared to less frequent users (OR=1.7, p=0.008). Those who used the computer at home for longer without a break also had higher odds of NUE symptoms, but those reporting higher average daily use time did not. School computer use and electronic game use were not associated with increased NUE symptoms.
The effect of daily home computer use on NUE symptoms was seen primarily in high school students. However, age itself did not predict NUE symptoms.
Age, race and gender did not affect the relationship between computer use and symptoms. However, girls were more likely to report NUE symptoms than boys
(OR=1.9, p=0.005). Being overweight and wearing glasses or contact lenses were also associated with symptoms. As computer use patterns and weight are modifiable characteristics, they suggest targets for reducing the negative effect of computer use in this population. Additional research and interventions involving the roles of physical activity, equipment design, psychosocial demands and physical development are recommended.
 
Publication Information: Ph.D. Dissertation
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Title:

The Research and Design of More Legible and Readable Key Legends for school children while operating Chinese computer keyboard  (2003)

Author(s):

Chen, J-C. and Lai, H-H.
Copy of Paper Available?: Yes - View Paper (pdf, 115kb, opens in new window) with permission of the Ergonomics Society of Korea
Status: Completed
Contact: Hsin-Hsi Lai
Abstract/ Description: For school children users, mostly less skilled in keying or unfamiliar with the keyboard, most key legends are important since a major proportion of the time is spent looking at the keyboard. The key legends need therefore to be as explicit and easy to understand as possible. In the initial experiment, we sampled twenty-one school children users to simulate the situation of computer keyboard operation. All subjects were requested to view the different designed key legends on the key-tops. We tried to find out the best Chinese character attributes including the style, shape, stroke width, size, and the location relationship on the computer key-tops. In the following experiments, we then adopted the well-known Chong-Je Keying words and tried the illegible Chinese keying words for the reference of related product designers.
Publication Information:(2003) Proceedings of the XVth Triennial Congress of the International Ergonomics Association, Aug 24-29, 2003, Seoul, Korea (CD ROM) with permission of the Ergonomics Society of Korea
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Title:

PSYCHO-PHYSIOLOGICAL REACTIONS IN CHILDREN USING COMPUTER GAMES (2003)

Author(s):

Horie, Y.
Copy of Paper Available?: Yes - View Paper (pdf, 223kb, opens in new window) with permission of the Ergonomics Society of Korea
Status: Completed
Contact: Yoshinori Horie
Abstract/ Description: Nowadays, computer games account for a large proportion of the playtime activity undertaken by children. If children play these games in inappropriate environments, mental and physical problems might results from the resulting visual stimulation. Experimental parameters were measured in two children at beginning and end of game sessions. Measurement items comprised critical flicker fusion frequency (CFF), blood pressure, visual acuity, subjective physical symptoms, degree of exhaustion, heart rate, and analysis of movement using video tape recorder. Blood pressure and CFF demonstrated small changes between the beginning and end of the experiment. However, the other measurement items displayed differences depending on the frequency of playing computer games and on experiences during the games. Mental stress was observed if computer games were played for more than one hour or if player did not possess the requisite skills to play successfully.
Publication Information:(2003) Proceedings of the XVth Triennial Congress of the International Ergonomics Association, Aug 24-29, 2003, Seoul, Korea (CD ROM) with permission of the Ergonomics Society of Korea
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Title:

DELIVERING THE POWER OF COMPUTERS TO CHILDREN, WITHOUT HARMING THEIR HEALTH (2003)

Author(s):

Straker, L. and Pollock, C.
Copy of Paper Available?: Yes - View Paper (pdf, 100kb, opens in new window) with permission of the Ergonomics Society of Korea
Status: Completed
Contact: Leon Straker
Abstract/ Description: The increased interaction with information and communication technologies (ICTs) has created a major change in the lives of children in industrially advanced countries. This change offers potential opportunities and threats to the cognitive, social, physical and visual development of children. These impacts are reviewed to emphasise the importance of optimising the interaction between children and ICTs. The change in children’s use of technology also poses opportunities and threats for ergonomics that we should note if our profession is to continue being relevant and useful into this century. A pathway to the development and implementation of guidelines about child ICT use for different groups of guideline users is presented.
Publication Information:(2003) Proceedings of the XVth Triennial Congress of the International Ergonomics Association, Aug 24-29, 2003, Seoul, Korea (CD ROM) with permission of the Ergonomics Society of Korea
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Title:

ITKIDS: READING FROM COMPUTERS CREATES DIFFERENT BIOMECHANICAL AND PHYSIOLOGICAL STRESSES FOR CHILDREN? (2003)

Author(s):

Straker, L., Briggs, A. and Greig, A.
Copy of Paper Available?: Yes - View Paper (pdf, 82kb, opens in new window) with permission of the Ergonomics Society of Korea
Status: Completed
Contact: Leon Straker
Abstract/ Description: There has been increasing concern in scientific and general public communities about the possible risk of musculoskeletal disorders in children associated with the increasing use of computers. The posture children assume when using a computer is thought to be a major risk factor, yet has only previously been measured by approximate observation techniques. The aim of this study was to describe in detail the head and neck posture and muscle activity of children using computers, compared to using older information technology. The sitting posture and muscle activity of 32 children aged 4-17 years was examined whilst they read from a desktop computer, a laptop computer and a book. There were significant differences in head and neck posture, with increasing flexion from desktop to laptop to book conditions. There were also significant differences in upper trapezius and cervical erector spine activity levels with greater activity in the laptop condition than in desktop or book conditions. Reading from a computer causes different postural and muscle activity responses compared to reading from a book. Whether these responses create a greater risk can only be determined with a more detailed understanding of the tissue stresses around the cervical spine.
Publication Information:(2003) Proceedings of the XVth Triennial Congress of the International Ergonomics Association, Aug 24-29, 2003, Seoul, Korea (CD ROM) with permission of the Ergonomics Society of Korea
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Title:

POTENTIAL HEALTH PROBLEMS FACED BY AN ASIAN YOUTH POPULATION WITH INCREASING TRENDS FOR COMPUTER USE (2003)

Author(s):

Szeto, G.P.Y.
Copy of Paper Available?: Yes - View Paper (pdf, 158kb, opens in new window) with permission of the Ergonomics Society of Korea
Status: Completed
Contact: Grace Szeto
Abstract/ Description: Computers have become a very powerful tool in our everyday lives, and is becoming a very important educational medium. This paper discusses the computer use patterns of secondary school students in Hong Kong and compare these to the figures reported in western countries. Results of two questionnaire surveys showed the growing trends of daily computer use by students, and there are also high prevalence rates of musculoskeletal discomforts related to computer use. The issues of computer use at school and at home are discussed, especially in relation to the problem of space and resources. These problems are reflected in the lack of ergonomic considerations in the design and layout of computer workstations both at schools and at home. These issues need to be addressed urgently as they may have profound implications on the children’s health.
Publication Information:(2003) Proceedings of the XVth Triennial Congress of the International Ergonomics Association, Aug 24-29, 2003, Seoul, Korea (CD ROM) with permission of the Ergonomics Society of Korea
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Title: A Healthy Approach to Classroom Computers: Preventing a Generation of Students From Developing Repetitive Strain Injuries (2002)
Author(s): Bradley Royster, L. for the North Carolina Law Review
Copy of Paper Available?: Yes - View Paper (pdf, 304kb, opens in new window) posted with permission of the North Carolina Law Review
Status: Completed
Contact: Laura Bradley Royster
Abstract/ Description:The widespread use of the computer, for all its benefits, has one major drawback: repetitive strain injuries (RSIs).2 These injuries, which cause pain and nerve damage to the body’s upper limbs, result from repeated stresses (such as typing) that are unable to heal properly before re-aggravation occurs.3 New research indicates that children’s computer usage at school exposes them to risk for these debilitating injuries.4 This phenomenon could result in the impairment of a generation of workers before they even enter the workplace if left untreated. This Comment explores potential ways to minimize children’s risks for RSIs, both proactively and retroactively, and analyzes the best means of implementing a solution. This Comment concludes that the preferred solution is a proactive one that incorporates federal guidance and funding but remains flexible enough to allow each state to tailor the solution to meet its unique needs.
Publication Information:(2002) Volume 80, pp 275-314, North Carolina Law Review
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Title: Ergonomics for Grade School Students Using Laptop Computers (2002)
Author(s): Fraser, M.
Copy of Paper Available?: Yes, View Paper (pdf, 251 kb, opens in a new window)
Status: Completed
Contact: Margo Fraser
Abstract/ Description: This paper describes an ergonomics education program for grade 6 and 7 students at a private school in southern Alberta. The students use laptop computers within most of their classes and the education program provides information on repetitive strain and back disorders, set-up of their computer work area, and taking breaks. Types of carrying cases and methods to reduce the loads carried are also discussed. During the education session, students complete a discomfort survey using a scale from 0 to 10 to rank the discomfort they feel in various regions of the body while performing computer work. A higher frequency of discomfort of moderate to high intensity was found for both grades in the neck, upper back and lower back as well as eyes and headaches, as compared to the upper extremities (shoulders, elbows, forearms, wrists and hand/fingers).
Publication Information: (2002) Proceedings of the XVI International Occupational Ergonomics and Safety Conference, Toronto, Canada, June 10-12, 2002 (CD ROM)
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Title: Legislating Computer Use in the Classroom: Is it Possible? (2002)
Author(s): Hainsworth, A.
Copy of Paper Available?: Yes - View Paper (pdf, 116kb, opens in new window)
Status: Completed
Contact: Anne Hainsworth
Abstract/ Description: Various authorities have predicted increased incidence of Repetitive Strain Injuries among children and teenagers due to improper use of computers. Given the fact that these injuries tend to be disabling and lifelong, this is a truly chilling prospect which does not seem to be on the radar screens of parents, schools and the manufacturers of this equipment. Attempts to get school districts to voluntarily institute corrective measures have met with very limited interest and often outright denial. Currently there is a bill before the New Jersey Assembly to require a statewide study of this issue. This bill would establish a Commission composed of educators, medical professionals and ergonomic authorities to examine the "need, viability and cost" of promoting safe computer practices in the classroom. In a state currently facing a six billion-dollar budget deficit, any new expenditure faces a steep uphill battle. The speaker will discuss the current status of the bill and strategies to promote its passage. The  speaker will also address alternative options should prevention be discounted. Specifically, the example of the asbestos industry and its’ experience with disabled workers will be discussed.
Publication Information: (2002) Proceedings of the XVI International Occupational Ergonomics and Safety Conference, Toronto, Canada, June 10-12, 2002 (CD ROM)
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Title: Middle School Children and Their Use of Interactive Media (2002)
Author(s): Jacobs, K.
Copy of Paper Available?: Yes - View Paper (pdf, 153kb, opens in new window)
Status: Completed
Contact: Karen Jacobs
Abstract/ Description: We live in an age of interactive media. In recent years, there has been an increasing concern over the association between interactive media, such as computers and video games and reports of aches and pains in users. It is suggested that the physical setup and individual styles of using interactive media has an influence over this discomfort. As children grow up, they will interact and use interactive media throughout most of their life. Healthy interactive media techniques may be vital to preventing/reducing the incidence of discomfort/pain associated with interactive media. This research paper will describe a study, which has collected health and comfort data on the incidence and prevalence of computer-related musculoskeletal discomfort/pain among 6th and 7th grade students in three middle schools in New England. General base line data from the first year of this three-year study, where students will be tracked for any reports of musculoskeletal discomfort/pain, will be reported.
Publication Information: (2002) Proceedings of the XVI International Occupational Ergonomics and Safety Conference, Toronto, Canada, June 10-12, 2002 (CD ROM)
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Title: Are children at more risk of developing musculoskeletal disorders from working with computers or with paper? (2001)
Author(s): Straker, L.
Copy of Paper Available?: Yes - View Paper (pdf, 145kb, opens in new window)
Status: Completed
Contact: Dr. Leon Straker
Abstract/ Description:Adult computer users are recognized as being at risk of musculoskeletal disorders. Despite children in modern societies being increasingly exposed to computer use, little has been published on the possible musculoskeletal risks for children. This paper reviews recently available evidence from epidemiological and laboratory studies. The early indications are that computer use creates different physical stresses on children than paper use. Whether these stresses are worse is still unclear.
Publication Information:(2001) Proceedings of the International Society for Occupational Ergonomics and Safety XV Annual Conference, Fairfax, Virginia, USA, International Society for Occupational Ergonomics and Safety.
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Title: Physical and psychosocial aspects of the learning environment in information technology rich classrooms (2001)
Author(s): Zandvliet, D.B. and Straker, L.M.
Copy of Paper Available?: Yes - View Paper(pdf, 184kb, opens in new window)
Status: Completed
Contact: Dr. Leon Straker
Abstract/ Description:This paper reports on a study of environments in emerging Internet classrooms. At issue for this study is to what extent these 'technological classrooms' are providing a positive learning environment for students. To investigate this issue, this study involved an evaluation of the physical and psychosocial environments in computerised school settings through a combination of questionnaires and inventories which were later cross-referenced to case studies on a subset of these classrooms. Data were obtained from a series of physical evaluations of 43 settings in 24 school locations in British Columbia, Canada and Western Australia. Evaluations consisted of detailed inventories of the physical environment using the Computerised Classroom Environment Inventory (CCEI): an instrument developed specially for this study. Data on psychosocial aspects of the environment were obtained with the What is Happening in this Classroom (WIHIC) questionnaire administered to 1404 high school students making routine use of these computerised classrooms. Potential deficiencies in the physical environment of these locations included problems with individual workspaces, lighting and air quality. Whereas deficiencies in the psychosocial environment were confined to the dimension of Autonomy. Further analysis of these classroom environment data indicated that student Autonomy and Task Orientation were independently associated with students' Satisfaction with learning and that many physical (eg. lighting and workspace dimensions) and psychosocial factors (eg. students' perceptions of Cooperation and Collaboration) were also associated. The results provide a descriptive account of the learning environment in ‘technology-rich’ classrooms and further, indicate that ergonomic guidelines used in the implementation of IT in classrooms may have a positive influence on the learning environment.
Publication Information:(2001) (in press) Physical and psychosocial aspects of the learning environment in information technology rich classrooms. Ergonomics.
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The following presentations were given at the Children & Information Technology Symposium, June 11-12, 2001, John Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health
Dr. Alan Hedge: Ergonomics Programs for Schools: Challenges and Opportunities pdf, 916 kb

Dr. Leon Straker: The Physical Impact of IT use on The Physical Impact of IT use on Children pdf, 171 kb

Other presentations (copies not available):

Nancy L. Atkinson, Ph.D. Public Health Informatics Research Lab University of Maryland, College Park "Making Sure Technology Works for Kids: The Role of Research"

Carl P. Gabbard, Ph.D. Department of Health and Kinesiology Texas A & M University "Computers & Children's Physical Fitness: A Reason for Concern?"

Jeffrey N. Katz, M.D., M.S. Harvard Medical School "Computer associated upper extremity symptoms and disability in college students: prevalence, risk factors, impact and strategies for prevention."

Susumu Saito, Ph.D. National Institute of Industrial Health, Japan "Ergonomic aspects of introduction of Information Technology into schools in Japan"

James Sheedy, O.D., Ph.D. University of California at Berkeley "Vision Issues: Children in a High Tech World"

Ellen Wartella, Ph.D. Dean, College of Communications University of Texas, Austin "Growing up with Interactive Media: What we know and what we don't about the impact of new media on children"

Inger M. Williams, Ph.D. CergoS "Is Computer Ergonomics for Elementary and Middle School Students Important?"

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Title: Survey of physical ergonomics issues associated with school childrens’ use of laptop computers. (2000)
Author(s): Harris, C. and Straker, L.
Copy of Paper Available?: Yes - View Paper (pdf, 150kb, opens in new window)
Status: Completed
Contact: Dr. Leon Straker
Abstract/ Description:The survey investigated the use of laptop computers by children aged 10 to 17 years at schools in Western Australia. Data collected included general participant information (eg. age, height); locations and postures adopted for laptop use; time on task and consequences of both using and carrying laptops. 251 participants used the internet to complete the survey and 63 completed written surveys. Twenty participants were interviewed and observed using their laptops in various locations. The mean times for minimum and maximum periods of laptop use at one sitting ranged from 11.5 - 101.9 minutes. Mean daily use (3.2 hours) and weekly use (16.9 hours) was also shown to be high. Postures used by laptop users varied according to location, eg. home, school and boarding house. Reported consequences of laptop use included technical faults, service and location limitations, hardware and software limitations, user limitations and physical consequences to the user. 85% of students reported discomfort with laptop use and 61% of participants reported discomfort with carrying their laptop. Associations between school attended or year level with time on task and discomfort reports were evident.
Publication Information:(2000) Survey of physical ergonomics issues associated with school children's use of laptop computers. International Journal of Industrial Ergonomics 26: 337 - 347.
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Title: Scarring a generation of school children through poor introduction of information technology in schools (2000)
Author(s): Straker, L., Harris, C., Zandvliet, D.
Copy of Paper Available?: Yes - View Paper (pdf, 202kb, opens in new window) Reprinted with permission from "Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 44th Annual meeting, 2000." Copyright 2000 by the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society. All rights reserved.

View presentation slides (pdf, 203kb, opens in new window)

Status: Completed
Contact: Dr. Leon Straker
Abstract/ Description:Educational authorities worldwide are rapidly increasing the exposure of school children to computers. However what limited evidence is available suggests information technology is not being introduced appropriately for children and undesirable sequelae are anticipated. This paper reports on two studies on computers and children. One study investigated 24 schools in Canada and Australia and included assessments of physical environments and psychosocial environments in IT rich classrooms. A questionnaire was also completed by 1404 students. The findings included that physical aspects of computer workstations were rated poorest. The other study investigated 3 schools in Australia with mandatory laptop programs. A main finding was that 85% of the 314 students questioned reported discomfort using their computer. The potential implications of poor management of IT use by school children are discussed and suggestions made for ergonomics research. Without accurate and valid guildelines - and effective implementation of these guidelines - scarring or a whole generation of school children is predicted.
Publication Information:(2000) In: Proceedings of the International Ergonomics Association Congress 2000. San Diego: International Ergonomics Association, pp. 300-304.
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The following presentations were made during the Children, Computers and Classrooms symposium at the International Ergonomics Association XIVth Triennial Congress and the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 44th Annual meeting "Ergonomics for the new millennium", July 29 - August 4th, 2000, San Diego, California, USA.
Cheryl Bennett: Children, Computers and Classrooms pdf, 83 kb

Dr. Alan Hedge et al.: Ergonomic Issues for Classroom Computing pdf, 233 kb

Dr. Susumu Saito, et al.: Research Activities onthe Ergonomics of Computers in Schools in Japan pdf, 2299 kb

Dr. Leon Straker, et al.: Scarring a generation of school children through poor introduction of information technology in schools pdf, 203 kb

Dr. Inger Williams: Computer Ergonomics for Teachers and Students pdf, 219 kb

Copies of the conference proceedings can be ordered from the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society, P.O. Box 1369, Santa Monica, Ca.  90406-1369, USA (email: hfes@compuserve.com

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Title: A computer in every classroom-are school children at risk for repetitive stress injuries (RSIs)? (1999)
Author(s): Royster, L. and Yearout, R.
Copy of Paper Available?: No
Status: Completed
Contact:  
Abstract/ Description: 
Publication Information:(1999) In: G. Lee (Ed.), Advances in Occupational Ergonomics and Safety. IOS Press, The Netherlands, 1999, pp. 407-412.
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Title: Information technology in the New Zealand curriculum and occupational overuse syndrome(1998)
Author(s): Grant, A.
Copy of Paper Available?: Yes - View paper (pdf 136.8 Kb)
Status: Completed
Contact:  
Abstract/ Description: Since 1989 the number of computers available in primary and secondary schools has increased dramatically. While access to computers as a learning tool is to be encouraged, I have found that many teachers know little about the importance and benefits of ergonomic furniture in their classrooms. It is my belief that schools are keen to purchase the technology required to keep up-to-date to improve the delivery of education and enhance student achievement, but as a general rule they do not consider the implications of providing unsuitable work-stations for that technology, especially for computers. It is also my belief that as a result of schools not having a policy directive from the Ministry of Education, students are exposed to the threat of Occupational Overuse Syndrome (OOS), which, later in life, can have dire consequences on their health and work. I look at the problem in this article.
Publication Information:(1998) Computers in New Zealand Schools, Vol 10, No. 2, pp. 37-41
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Title: Ergonomics in Schools: Some Issues(1998)
Author(s): McMillan, N.
Copy of Paper Available?: No
Status: Completed
Contact:  
Abstract/ Description: 
Publication Information:(1998) paper prepared for New Zealand Accident Rehabilitation, Compensation and Insurance Corporation, Wellington
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Title: Computers in schools - an international project under planning(1997)
Author(s): Bergvist, U., Sotoyama, M. Saito, S and Piccolic, B.
Copy of Paper Available?: Yes - View Paper (pdf, 12kb, opens in new window)
Status: Completed
Contact: Ulf Bergqvist
Abstract/ Description:During the nineteen eighties, computers were introduced at a high pace in many of-fices. This technical development - both as to hardware and software - was so quick that sometimes efforts to adjust computers and the general environment to each other - e.g. concerning ergonomics and ligh-ting systems, was not always performed. Partly as a result of this, problems for individuals in terms of adverse health reactions occurred, which presumably also led to inefficiency in the utilisation of this new technology. Now, computers are introduced in schools at a similar high pace, a development which will affect even larger groups of individuals. Research and developmental activities are in progress or preparation in various countries in order to obtain a better knowledge about computers in schools and their consequences, and also about methods to improve work situations and the effectiveness of computers in schools. In order to plan such research and developmental activities, we do, however need some basic knowledge about how computers are used in todays schools. We are also interested in to what degree ergonomic considerations are taken when planning computer work and work stations.
Publication Information:(1997) In: Work With Display Units '97, Tokyo
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Title: Aspects on the Swedish provisions on work with VDUs in telework and at school (1997)
Author(s): Jonsson, C.
Copy of Paper Available?: Yes - View Paper (pdf, 14kb, opens in new window)
Status: Completed
Contact: Christina Jonsson
Abstract/ Description:The first Swedish provisions on work with visual display units came into force on the 1st of January 1986. The Ordinance was amended in 1992 on account of the implementation of the Council Directive of the European Economic Community on the minimum safety and health requirements for work with display screen equipment (90/270/EEC). The new ordinance Work with Visual Display Units (VDUs), AFS 1992: 14, came into force on the 1st of January 1993. The Swedish National Board of Occupational Safety and Health is at present focusing two aspects regarding work with visual display units, telework and the use of visual display units at school.
Publication Information:(1997) In: Work With Display Units '97, Tokyo
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Title: Computer operation by primary school children in Japan-- present condition and issues (1997)
Author(s): Noro, K., Okamoto, T. and Kojima, M.
Copy of Paper Available?: Yes - View Paper (pdf, 26 kb, opens in new window)
Status: Completed
Contact: Kageyu Noro
Abstract/ Description:Computer use in school education was encouraged by the new education teaching guideline which took effect in 1992 and introduction of personal computers into primary, middle and high schools throughout Japan has been promoted since then. Most personal computers used in schools are desktop types. Some schools, however use lap-top computers as well. We did a survey on the environment of computer operation for primary school children and found the following 2 points to be especially evident. * One unit of work station is shared by 2 or 3 children. * At a glance, the size of the work station is too big compared to the size of the children.
Publication Information:(1997) In: Work With Display Units '97, Tokyo
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Computers and Vision
Title:

A Case Report of Ophthalmologic Problems Associated with the Use of Information Technology among Young Students in Japan  (2002)

Author(s): Marumoto, T., Jonai, H., Villanueva, M.B.G., and Sotoyama, M.
Copy of Paper Available?: Yes - View Paper (pdf, 506 kb, opens in new window)with permission of the Ergonomics Society of Korea
Status: Completed
Contact: Tatsuya Marumoto
Abstract/ Description:  An earlier study looked into the role of posture of children while studying in the rising trend of eye problems (Marumoto T et. al., 1999). The results showed that children with impaired vision have shorter viewing distance and lower accommodative power compared to children with normal vision. Posture, however, is not the only factor that has been associated with the failing eyesight of children(Saitou S et. al., 1992). An understanding of the other probable causes of abnormalities in the eyesight of school children is important in the promotion of eye care (Sotoyama M et. al., 1995). This paper intends to describe the most common visual problems encountered among young patients in an ophthalmologic clinic. The proposed mechanisms for the deterioration of the children’s eyesight are also included in the paper. If viewed in the light of continuous use of information technology by children, the findings of this paper will have serious implications when integrating ergonomics in the school or even home settings.
Publication Information:(2003) Proceedings of the XVth Triennial Congress of the International Ergonomics Association, Aug 24-29, 2003, Seoul, Korea (CD ROM) with permission of the Ergonomics Society of Korea
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Title: Students' Musculoskeletal and Visual Concerns (2002)
Author(s): Williams, I.M.
Copy of Paper Available?: Yes - View Paper (pdf, 191 kb, opens in new window)
Status: Completed
Contact: Inger Williams
Abstract/ Description:  Musculoskeletal and visual concerns among children and adolescents are common. The World Health Organization [1] found in their cross-national research study that backache, at least once a week, is reported by 30% of 11 year olds, 33% and 30% of 13 year old girls and boy’s respectively and 43% and 33% of 15 year old girls and boys respectively in the United States. Epidemiological studies conducted in the last 15 years, mostly in Europe, reveal that neck, shoulder and especially back pains are as common in children and adolescents as in adults [2-4]. The American Public Health Association [5] states that 25% of children between K-6th grades have vision problems many of which can be corrected if detected early enough. Recognizing not only the presence but also the intensity and frequency of these musculoskeletal and visual concerns and defining their risk factors could improve our understanding of the origin of musculoskeletal and visual concerns in adults [6, 7]. This insight could also help us develop better strategies to prevent risk factors from having an impact already at a young age [8-11].
Publication Information:(2002) Proceedings of the XVI Annual International Occupational Ergonomics and Safety Conference (on CD ROM)
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Title: Physician Perspectives on Children's Musculoskeletal and Vision Disorders in Geneva, Switzerland (2002)
Author(s): Gierlach, P.
Copy of Paper Available?: Yes - View Paper (pdf, 151 kb, opens in new window)
Status: Completed
Contact: Patricia Gierlach
Abstract/ Description:  This survey of Geneva, and its surrounding areas’ medical professionals (Pediatricians, Orthopedic Surgeons, and Ophthalmologists) addressed four questions. First, in the past three years has a physician treated or referred any early stage discomfort; musculoskeletal or vision disorders in children/ adolescents caused by environmental and/or behavioral practices; age of children, amount of children within a certain age bracket, and what major problems were seen in that age bracket; 1a. what were the most common disorders seen by the physicians and; 1b. Physicians’ perspectives if the incidence of disorders is increasing, decreasing, or staying the same. Second, what are the disorders’ major contributors? Third, what preventative measures do physicians advise to reduce musculoskeletal and vision disorders that are directly linked to environmental and/or behavioral causes. Fourth, what other problems relate to children that physicians feel are important or have seen an alarming increase of. Twenty-one thorough surveys were returned (a response rate of 27%). Physicians have treated and referred children with musculoskeletal and vision disorders as young as 10 years old and below, with the majority of children in all age brackets from 10 and under to 23 years of age being seen for back pain, the most common disorder seen by physicians. Out of eleven physicians, 2 physicians reported that the incidence is increasing, 8 physicians reported the incidence is staying the same, and 1 physician reported he/she did not recognize a trend. The major contributors to disorders included several factors with a repetitive theme around poor posture. Although several preventative measures were advised by the physicians, physical activity and improvement of posture were the major factors that are directly linked to reduce future disorders. The majority of problems related to young people that physicians have seen an alarming case of include less physical activity and an increase of sedentary and static activities (computer, videogames, and television) which increases risk for injury.
Publication Information:(2002) Proceedings of the XVI Annual International Occupational Ergonomics and Safety Conference (on CD ROM)
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Title: Kids and Computers: Eyes and Visual Systems (2001)
Author(s): Anshel, J.R.
Copy of Paper Available?: Yes - View Paper (pdf, 80 kb, opens in new window)

Status: Completed
Contact: Dr. Jeffrey Anshel
Abstract/ Description: Adults used computers almost exclusively when they were first introduced. Today, millions of children are using computers every day, at school and at home, for education and recreation. Visual demands in school require the integration of a number of different vision skills: visual acuity (sharpness of vision); visual fixation (eye aiming); accommodation (focusing); binocular fusion (forming a single image); convergence (turning of the eyes); field of vision (side vision) and form perception (recognizing shapes). These systems can be stressed and overworked if not used efficiently. Computer viewing is complicating how children use their eyes in school because these visual skills are not yet fully developed in children. Children can experience many of the same symptoms related to computer use as adults. Extensive viewing of the computer screen can lead to eye discomfort, fatigue, blurred vision, and headaches. However, some unique aspects of how children use computers may make them more susceptible than adults to the development of these problems. The symptoms of physical problems that computer users are experiencing are increasing. Eye doctors have seen an increase in the number of patients who request eye examinations due to symptoms they experience at the computer. This has led to the American Optometric Association (AOA) designation of Computer Vision Syndrome.
Publication Information: (2001) Unpublished
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School Design and/or Posture Issues
Title:

ADJUSTABLE TABLES AND CHAIRS CORRECT POSTURE AND LOWER MUSCLE TENSION AND PAIN IN HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS (2003)

Author(s):

Hänninen, O. and Koskelo, R.

Copy of Paper Available: Yes - View Paper (pdf, 72 kb, opens in new window) with permission of the Ergonomics Society of Korea
Status: Completed
Contact: Osmo Hänninen
Abstract/ Description: The aim of this study was to compare the effects of the traditional non-adjustable and new adjustable school tables and chairs on the sitting and standing postures, muscle tension and pain levels as well as the learning success during the three high school years when the growth of the students reaches the adult measures. In one school the students received tables and chairs which were adjustable and were personally adjusted for the students (8 girls, 7 boys) whereas in the control school the students (8 girls,7 boys) continued to use non-adjustable tables and chairs. When the students started to use their adjustable tables and chairs the muscle tension levels fell significantly in lumbar and trapezius muscles. In the students of the control school an increase was found during the follow-up. The headache and low back pain correlated with the neck-shoulder pain as well as trapezius muscle tension. The intervention corrected the posture much as expected, when the students were sitting in their new units. The standing stature was also corrected (kyphosis, scoliosis and lordosis). Positive responses were observed even when the growth had stopped. The intervention students reported that they experienced benefits from the adjustable tables and chairs. They got significantly better grades at the end of high school than the controls. The results support the necessity of ergonomic approach in furniture planning of school classes and individual adjustment possibility of tables and chairs.
Publication Information: (2003) Proceedings of the XVth Triennial Congress of the International Ergonomics Association, Aug 24-29, 2003, Seoul, Korea (CD ROM)
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Title: Juvenile Computer Seating Design Recommendations and Analogs (2002)
Author(s): Herring, D.
Copy of Paper Available: Yes - View Paper (pdf, 425 kb, opens in new window)
Status: Completed
Contact: Don Herring
Abstract/ Description: This children’s anthropometry and seating study, addresses the need to provide ergonomically designed and appropriately sized adjustable seating to interface with the computer workstation and accommodate physical growth. Elementary children were found in the computer laboratories of two Phoenix, Arizona school systems working at 30-inch high stationary workstation heights and seated on 14-inch high fixed chairs. Data was collected for two hundred children for seven seated measurements, stature, and weight. The resulting statistical data was compared to the findings of the 1977 Society of Automotive Engineers child anthropometry study. This Arizona study’s anthropometric data was used to analyze the adjustability ranges required for chairs in grades one through six for use with 30-inch high workstations. The ANSI/HFS 100 forearm angle and eye height models were overlaid on the seat height ranges to determine the best ergonomic fit for children using 30 - inch workstation heights. The findings were condensed into seating adjustability and size recommendations for the elementary computer user population.
Publication Information: (2002) Proceedings of the XVI Annual International Occupational Ergonomics and Safety Conference (on CD ROM)
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Title: The effect of computer workstation design on student posture(1998)
Author(s): Laeser, K., Maxwell, L., & Hedge, A.
Copy of Paper Available?: No
Status: Completed
Contact:  
Abstract/ Description: 
Publication Information:(1998) Journal of Research on Computing in Education, Vol 31, pp. 173-188
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Title: A preliminary ergonomic and postural assessment of computer work settings in American elementary schools(1998)
Author(s): Oates, S., Evans, G. and Hedge, A.
Copy of Paper Available?: No
Status: Completed
Contact:  
Abstract/ Description: 
Publication Information:(1998) Computers in the Schools 14:3/4 (1998) 55-63.
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Title: Changing standards for school furniture(1997)
Author(s): Mandal, A.C.
Copy of Paper Available?: No
Status: Completed
Contact:  
Abstract/ Description:  
Publication Information:(1997) Ergonomics in Design, 5: 28-31.
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Title: The potential use and measurement of alternative work stations in UK schools(1996)
Author(s): Taylour, J.A., and Crawford, J.
Copy of Paper Available?: No
Status: Completed
Contact:  
Abstract/ Description:  
Publication Information:(1996) in S.A. Robertson (ed), Contemporary Ergonomics (London: Taylor & Francis), 464-469
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Title: A comparative study of three different kinds of school furniture(1995)
Author(s): Aagaard-Hansen, J. and Storr-Paulsen, A.
Copy of Paper Available?: No
Status: Completed
Contact:  
Abstract/ Description:  
Publication Information:(1995) Ergonomics, 38, pp1025-1035
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Title: Effect of workstation design on sitting posture in young children(1995)
Author(s): Marschall, M., Harrington, A.C., and Steele, J.R.
Copy of Paper Available?: No
Status: Completed
Contact:  
Abstract/ Description: The purpose of this study was to compare muscular activity levels and sitting posture displayed by 10 children (mean age = 4.7 years) when performing tracing tasks while seated at a traditional work station (level desk top, 5 degrees backward sloping seat) and at an ergonomically designed work station (15 degrees sloping desk top, 15 degrees forward sloping seat). EMG progiles of latissimus dorsi (LD), erector spine (ES), and superior trapezius (ST) were sampled using Medi-trace disposable surface electrodes for 10 min on the non-dominant side. Muscle activity was sampled (1000Hz) every 2 min for 5000ms while the subjects performed the tracing tasks at each station. Raw EMG signals of the five trials for each muscle were processed by removing signal offset, full-wave rectification, and integration. The subjects' posture was monitored from a lateral view using a Panasonic VHS video camera while the children were seated at each work station. Neck flexion angle and the angle between the torso and thigh (hip angle) were manually sampled from the video images each 1 min as an indication of the posture adopted by the subjects during the tracing tasks. Use of t-tests for dependent muscle activity as a function of work station design. However, subjects demonstrated significantly less ld activity when seated at the ergonomic work station (mean=20.9 V ms) compared with the traditional work station (mean-24.4 V ms, t=-2.88, p=0.018).
Publication Information:(1995) Ergonomics, 38(9): 1932-1940
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Title: The working position of school children(1994)
Author(s): Storr-Paulsen, A. and Aagaard-Hansen, J.
Copy of Paper Available?: No
Status: Completed
Contact:  
Abstract/ Description: 
Publication Information:(1994) Applied Ergonomics, 25, 63-64
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Title: Evaluation of working position of school children(1993)
Author(s): Mandal, A.C.
Copy of Paper Available?: No
Status: Completed
Contact:  
Abstract/ Description: 
Publication Information:(1993) Talkback Magasine, January, National Back Pain Association, UK
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Title: CEN/207/WGS/TG1 1993, European standards for chairs and tables for school furniture(1993)
Author(s): CEN/TC 207/WG S/TG1
Copy of Paper Available?: No
Status: Completed
Contact:  
Abstract/ Description: 
Publication Information:(1993) Eighth working draft document of the 7th meeting of CEN/TC 207/WG S/TG1, 6.9.93, Copenhagen, Denmark
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Title: Is school furniture responsible for student seating discomfort? (1992)
Author(s): Evans, O., Collins, B., and Stewart, A.
Copy of Paper Available?: No
Status: Completed
Contact:  
Abstract/ Description: 
Publication Information:(1992) In E. Hoffman and O. Evans (eds.), Proceedings of the 28th Annual Conference of the Ergonomics Society of Australia 'Unlocking Potential for the Future Productivity and Quality of Lift', Melbourne (Australia: Ergonomics Society of Australia), 31-37.
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Title: Why ergonomic designs and school? (1991)
Author(s): Kayis, B.
Copy of Paper Available?: No
Status: Completed
Contact:  
Abstract/ Description: 
Publication Information:(1991) In V. Popovic and M. Walker (eds.), Proceedings of 27th Annual Conference of the Ergonomics Society of Australia 'Ergonomics and Human Environments', Coolum (Australia: Ergonomics Society of Australia), 95-103
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Title: School seating arrangements – An example of school based research in ergonomics(1990)
Author(s): Oates, E. and Evans, O.
Copy of Paper Available?: No
Status: Completed
Contact:  
Abstract/ Description: 
Publication Information:(1990) In Proceedings of the 26th Annual Conference of the Ergonomics Society of Australia 'Ergonomic Design Products for the Consumer', Adelaide (Australia: Ergonomics Society of Australia) 277-282
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Title: Postural fault in school children(1983)
Author(s): Johnsson, B.
Copy of Paper Available?: No
Status: Completed
Contact:  
Abstract/ Description: 
Publication Information:(1983) Student-litterature, Lund, Sweden
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Title: The correct height of school furniture(1982)
Author(s): Mandel, A.C.
Copy of Paper Available?: No
Status: Completed
Contact:  
Abstract/ Description: 
Publication Information:(1982) Human Factors, 24, pp 257-269
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Title: An ergonomic appraisal of educational desks(1980)
Author(s): Hira, D.S.
Copy of Paper Available?: No
Status: Completed
Contact:  
Abstract/ Description: 
Publication Information:(1980) Ergonomics, 23, pp 213-221
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Title: School furniture: standing and sitting postures(1976)
Author(s): Dillon, J.
Copy of Paper Available?: No
Status: Completed
Contact:  
Abstract/ Description: 
Publication Information:(1976) Building Bulletin, DES (London: HMSO)
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Title: Preliminary report on the sitting postures of school children(1962)
Author(s): Karvonen, M.J., Koskela, A, and Noro, L.
Copy of Paper Available?: No
Status: Completed
Contact:  
Abstract/ Description: 
Publication Information:(1962) Ergonomics, 33, 1511-1521
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School Furniture Design and Behaviour
Title: Children's behaviour and the design of school furniture (1999)
Author(s): Knight, G. and Noyes, J.
Copy of Paper Available?: No
Status: Completed
Contact: Dr. Jan Noyes
Abstract/ Description:Children spend a large part of their school days in the classroom, and yet the effect of the design of school furniture on their behaviour and health has received comparatively little attention in the UK. An experimental study is reported that compares the effects on children's behaviour and sitting position of traditional classroom furniture with a recently designed chair known as 'Chair 2000' and associated tables. It was found that children showed a modest but significant improvement in on-task behaviour and a marked change in sitting positions following the introduction of the newly-designed furniture. However, these benefits need to be considered in the light of polarized opinion for and against the new furniture, and a high level of reported incidence of back pain significantly related to the frequency of non-standard sitting. In the absence of radically redesigned furniture, it is suggested that children should be given more choice in their seating, and better guidance should be given to individuals involved in education in order inform their decision-making about classroom furniture and the postural, anthropometric and orthopaedic aspects of sitting and related activities.
Publication Information:(1999) Ergonomics, Vol. 42, No. 5, pp 747-760
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Title: The effects of ergonomically designed school furniture on pupils' attitudes, symptoms and behaviour (1994)
Author(s): Linton, S.J., Hellsing, A-L., Halme, T. and Akerstedt, K.
Copy of Paper Available?: No
Status: Completed
Contact:  
Abstract/ Description:We tested the effects of implementing ergonomically designed school furniture on measures of comfort, sitting posture and symptoms. Three classes of fourth graders (10 years old) were randomly assigned either to a control group using traditional furniture or to an experimental group which received the ergonomically designed furniture. In both groups questionnaires were completed and sitting behaviour was observed twice before and after the intervention as well as at a five-month follow-up period. Although the experimental groups rated their furniture as being significantly more comfortable, differences in actual sitting behaviour were small. The experimental class experienced a reduction in musculoskeletal symptoms relative to the control group after implementing the ergonomically designed furniture. Since pupils did not automatically sit 'properly' in the ergonomic furniture, these results demonstrate the need for proper instructions and adjustment. Increased comfort and decreased symptoms may be used to motivate pupils to sit correctly. Our results suggest that furniture design is one aspect of a multidimensional problem.
Publication Information:(1994) Applied Ergonomics, Vol. 25., No. 5, pp 299-304
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Title: Seating arrangements and classroom behaviour(1992)
Author(s): Wheldall, K.
Copy of Paper Available?: No
Status: Completed
Contact:  
Abstract/ Description: 
Publication Information:(1992) Association for Child Psychology and Psychiatry News, 10, 2-6
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Backpacks and Carrying Cases
Title: Are Backpacks Making Our Children Beasts of Burden? (2002)
Author(s): Jacobs, K.
Copy of Paper Available?: Yes - View Paper (pdf, 150kb, opens in new window)
Status: Completed
Contact: Karen Jacobs
Abstract/ Description: More than 40 million US students carry school backpacks. Increasingly heavy school backpacks are putting the nation’s students at risk and may be causing long-term damage to their growing bodies. More than 25,000 occupational therapy practitioners work with children and can advise parents on ways to avoid backpack-related problems. Because many occupational therapy practitioners are already working with children, the American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc. (AOTA) was the natural choice for retailer L.L. Bean, Inc. to partner with in a public safety initiative to promote healthy school backpack use. Both organizations’ Web sites and a brochure available at L.L. Bean, retail outlets, offer tips for parents and children on choosing the correct backpack design, loading, and wearing backpacks. This paper will describe and demonstrate the public safety initiative between AOTA, Inc. and L.L. Bean, Inc, as an example of an innovative partnership in public health and ergonomics.
Publication Information: (2002) Proceedings of the XVI Annual International Occupational Ergonomics and Safety Conference (on CD ROM)
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Title: A pilot study of the weight of schoolbags carried by 10-year old children (1996)
Author(s): Casey, G, and Dockrell, S.
Copy of Paper Available?: Yes - View Paper (pdf, 195.7kb, opens in new window)
Status: Completed
Contact: Sara Dockrell
Abstract/ Description: This study was carried out to determine the weights of schoolbags that 10-year-old children carry to school. The relationship between bag weight and body weight was established. Investigation was also made into the methods adopted by children to carry their bags, and the distances that they are expected to carry these loads. A questionnaire was used to gain some of this information, while measurements of bag weight and body weight were obtained using an electronic weighing scales.

The findings suggest that 10-year-old children are carrying an average load of 11.4 lbs or equivalent to 15.2% of total body weight. Sixty-two percent carried the bags on their backs. The mean distance that subjects carried their bags was 0.6 miles per day. In the absence of guidelines on acceptable loads to be carried by children it is difficult to assess the possible consequences of carrying such loads. There is a need for further research in this area.

Publication Information: (1996) Physiotherapy Ireland, December Issue
Title: A better backpack for your back
Author(s): Consumer reports for kids
Copy of Paper Available?: No

Status: Completed
Contact: n/a
Abstract/ Description: see website:
http://www.zillions.org/Features/Backpacks/backpack001.html

Contains tips for backpack use and fit as well as results of a short survey of 500 kids on how they carry their school books.

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Low Back Issues in Children and Adolescents
Title:

SPINAL MUSCULOSKELETAL DISCOMFORT IN NEW ZEALAND INTERMEDIATE SCHOOLS  (2003)

Author(s):

Legg, S.J., Trevelyan, F.C., Carpentier, M-P and Fuchs, B.

Copy of Paper Available?: Yes - View paper (pdf 38.4 kb, opens in a new window) with permission of the Ergonomics Society of Korea
Status: Completed
Contact:  Stephen Legg
Abstract/ Description: Since the strongest predictor of having adult musculoskeletal discomfort and back pain (MSD/BP) is a previous history of such symptoms (Troup et al, 1987) the present study examined by questionnaire the prevalence of MSD/BP amongst 245 school students aged 11-14 years in seven intermediate schools in New Zealand (NZ). Lifetime prevalence of low back pain (LBP) was 48%. MSD prevalence during the one-month period prior to completing the questionnaire was 36% for the neck, 23% for the upper back and 35% for the low back. Overall, 143 children (58%) reported spinal aches/pain in the last month. 31% of these children reported aches/pain in a single spinal region. 28% reported it in more than one spinal region. Small differences in methodology between previous apparently similar studies of NZ secondary students (aged 13-18 years) and UK intermediate aged students made direct comparisons between studies misleading and invalid. However, lifetime prevalence of LBP was slightly lower than in another UK study of intermediate aged students and MSD prevalence was similar but tended to be slightly lower for the neck and upper back. It is concluded that the prevalence of MSD/BP in New Zealand intermediate school children is high and probably broadly similar to children of the same age in the United Kingdom. MSD appeared equally prevalent in the low back and neck and was slightly lower for the upper back. There was evidence of regional co-occurrence of spinal MSD. The study has highlighted difficulties in making direct prevalence comparisons between different (yet apparently similar) studies and indicates a need to collect data for MSD prevalence in New Zealand secondary school students if a comparison with their intermediate counterparts is desired.
Publication Information: (2003) Proceedings of the XVth Triennial Congress of the International Ergonomics Association, Aug 24-29, 2003, Seoul, Korea (CD ROM)
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Title:

BACK PAIN AMONGST SCHOOLCHILDREN AND ASSOCIATED RISK FACTORS   (2003)

Author(s):

Murphy, S., Buckle, P. and Stubbs, D.

Copy of Paper Available?: Yes - View paper (pdf 126 kb, opens in a new window) with permission of the Ergonomics Society of Korea
Status: Completed
Contact:  Sam Murphy
Abstract/ Description: This study set out to identify the role of ergonomic and other factors in new episodes of disabling back pain in schoolchildren and to develop methods to access potential risk factors of schoolchildren and evaluate their relationship with subsequent symptomology. It has been shown that a strong predictor of having future back pain is a previous history of such symptoms. The self-report questionnaire ascertained demographic characteristics, back pain history, school and leisure activities, school bag and furniture details, common childhood complaints and psychological factors. The prevalence of back pain was ascertained using a body map. Descriptive results are presented then the results of a multivariate analysis are presented and discussed.
Publication Information: (2003) Proceedings of the XVth Triennial Congress of the International Ergonomics Association, Aug 24-29, 2003, Seoul, Korea (CD ROM)
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Title: Back pain amongst school children and physical risk factors in schools (2002)
Author(s): Murphy, S. and Buckle, P.
Copy of Paper Available?: Yes - View Poster (pdf 139.5 kb, opens in a new window)
Status: Completed
Contact:  Sam Murphy
Abstract/ Description: 
Publication Information: (2002) Presented at the 2002 Premus conference in Amsterdam
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Title: Back education in elementary school: knowledge and perceptions of pupils, parents and teachers (in press)
Author(s): Cardon, G., De Bourdeaudhuij, I. and De Clercq, D.
Copy of Paper Available?: Contact author
Status: Completed
Contact:  Greet Cardon
Abstract/ Description: 
Publication Information: (in press) Journal of School Health
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Title: Back education efficacy in elementary school children: a one-year follow-up study (in press)
Author(s): Cardon, G., De Clercq, D. and De Bourdeaudhuij, I.
Copy of Paper Available?: Contact author
Status: Completed
Contact:  Greet Cardon
Abstract/ Description: 
Publication Information: (in press) Spine
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Title: Back care education in elementary school children: a pilot study investigating the complementary role of the class teacher (2001)
Author(s): Cardon, G., De Bourdeaudhuij, I. and De Clercq, D.
Copy of Paper Available?: Contact author
Status: Completed
Contact:  Greet Cardon
Abstract/ Description: This study investigated the efficacy of guidelines for a motivated class teacher to enhance the application of back care principles, taught by a physical therapist, in fifth-grade elementary schoolchildren. Testing consisted of a practical test before and a practical test, knowledge test and candid camera evaluation 11 weeks after the program. Three groups were compared: an intervention group of 38 pupils, with extra guidelines for the teacher, an intervention group of 48 pupils, without extra guidelines and 34 controls. The intervention plus guidelines group compared to the intervention group without extra teacher guidelines, obtained significantly higher posttest-pretest gain scores for five of the seven practical test items and scored significantly higher for seven of the nine items of the candid camera evaluation. Knowledge test scores did not differ significantly between the two intervention groups. Study results indicate that guidelines to a motivated class teacher improve efficacy of back care education in elementary schoolchildren.
Publication Information: (2001) Patient education and counseling, 45, pp 219-226
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Title: Generalisation of back care principles by Elementary School children: evaluation with a practical test and a candid camera observation (2001)
Author(s): Cardon, G., De Bourdeaudhuij, I. and De Clercq, D.
Copy of Paper Available?: Contact author
Status: Completed
Contact:  Greet Cardon
Abstract/ Description: The efficacy of back education in elementary school children was shown using a practical test. Similar results in a candid camera evaluation were questioned. The purposes of this study were (i) to explore the relationship between the results of a practical test and the results of a candid camera procedure when evaluating back education principles, and (ii) to investigate whether in a candid camera procedure scores are still better in pupils who followed a back education programme than in controls. A candid camera evaluation followed by a practical test was performed in 71 pupils who had participated in a back education programme and 60 controls. Correlations between the two evaluation methods were significant but weak for 5 of the 9 test items in the intervention group (Rs0.38-0.58). The difference in sum scores between the evaluation methods was significantly higher in the intervention group than in the control group (p<0.001). The intervention group scored higher than the control group for 8 practical test items and 7 candid evaluation items. Conclusion: The study results question the use of a practical test for the individual evaluation of back education principles but show the usefulness of a practical test to study programme efficacy. As some principles seem to have become a habit, while for the implementation of others the pupils need external stimuli, the effects of more specific guidelines for parents and teachers to generalize back education principles require further study.
Publication Information: (2001) Acta Paediatrica, 90, pp 143-150
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Title: Effects of back care education in Elementary school children (2000)
Author(s): Cardon, G., De Clercq, D. and De Bourdeaudhuij, I.
Copy of Paper Available?: Contact author
Status: Completed
Contact:  Greet Cardon
Abstract/ Description: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of a back care education programme, consisting of six sessions of 1 h each, in fourth- and fifth-grade elementary schoolchildren. Testing consisted of a practical performance and a back care knowledge test. Forty-two subjects and 36 controls performed a pre-test and were tested within 1 wk after the programme. To monitor effects and follow-up effects on a larger sample, 82 different pupils were tested within 1 wk after the programme and 116 other children 3 mo after. Both larger samples were compared with one group of 129 controls. Interrater reliability for the test items of the practical assessment was high; intraclass correlation coefficients varied from 0.785 to 0.980. In the pre/post design study, interaction between time and condition was significant for the sum score of the practical assessment and for the knowledge test (p<0.001), with higher scores for the intervention group (15% sum scores for the knowledge test score, 31.6% for the practical sum score). Significantly higher sum scores for the knowledge test and for all practical assessment items were found in the intervention groups, tested within 1 wk and 3 mo after the programme, in comparison with the control group (p<0.001). Conclusion: The effectiveness of a primary educational prevention programme on back care principles was demonstrated in this study. Effectiveness, long-term outcomes and behavioural changes need further evaluation to optimize back care prevention programmes fro elementary schoolchildren.
Publication Information: (2000) Acta Pediatrica, 86 pp 1010-7
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Title:

A pilot survey to investigate the incidence of low back pain in school children (1998)

Author(s): Prendeville, K. and Dockrell, S.
Copy of Paper Available?: Yes (pdf 205.5kb Opens in a separate window)
Status: Completed
Contact: Sara Dockrell
Abstract/ Description:  The aim of this study was to investigate the incidence of low back pain (LBP) among secondary school children. It also aimed to investigate possible contributing factors to adolescent LBP.
Two hundred questionnaires were distributed. One hundred and eighty-eight (94%) completed questionnaires were returned. Forty-one percent of those who replied had experienced LBP. An equal number of boys and girls had experienced LBP. Sixty-nine percent of the LBP group had episodes of LBP in the previous year. Forty-one percent of the LBP group had LBP at the time of study. Eighteen percent had had to take time off school due to their symptoms.
Sitting was found to be the most prevalent aggravating factor. All subjects reported taking part in some form of exercise or sporting activity.
Publication Information: (1998) Physiotherapy Ireland
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Title: Primary Prevention, education, and low back pain among school children (1996)
Author(s): Balague, F., Nordin, M., Dutoit, G., and Waldburger, M.
Copy of Paper Available?: No
Status: Completed
Contact:  
Abstract/ Description: After a survey in 1986, a primary educational prevention program for low back pain (LBP) was implemented over a 3 year period in a primary school setting in Switzerland. In 1989 a second survey was carried out to evaluate the effect of the intervention. One thousand seven hundred and fifty-five (1755) children received a questionnaire, 1716 (97.7%) were returned. Recollection of participation in the prevention program was significantly associated with reported increased prevalence of LBP (p 0.000). Simultaneously, there was a significant reduction in the utilization of medical care for LBP 9p<0.05)
Publication Information: (1996) Hospital for Joint Diseases, Bulletin, Vol 55, No 3, pp 130-134
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Title: Low Back Pain in Schoolchildren (1995)
Author(s): Balague, F., Skovron, M.L., Nordin, M., Dutoit, G., Pol, L.R., and Waldburger, M.
Copy of Paper Available?: No
Status: Completed
Contact:  
Abstract/ Description: 
Publication Information: (1995) Spine, Vol 20, No 11, pp 1265-1270
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Title: Non-Specific Low-Back Pain Among Schoolchildren: A Field Survey with Analysis of Some Associated Factors (1994)
Author(s): Balague, F., Nordin, M., Skovron, M.L., Dutoit, G., Yee, A., and Waldburger, M.
Copy of Paper Available?: No
Status: Completed
Contact:  
Abstract/ Description: A study population composed of 1,755 children 8-16 years of age were surveyed using a 15-item, self-administered questionnaire. The response rate was 97.7%. The purpose of the survey was to evaluate the possible association between low-back pain and certain social factors and predicaments. Descriptive statistics and logistic regression analysis showed that parental history of treated low-back pain (adjusted odds ratio of 2.10; p<0.001), competitive sports activity (adjusted odds ratio 1.23; p=0.05) significantly increased the risk for low-back pain among children, controlling for the child's age and gender.
Publication Information: (1994) Journal of Spinal Disorders, Vol 7, No 5, pp 374-379
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Title: Cross-sectional study of the isokinetic muscle trunk strength among school children (1993)
Author(s): Balague, F., Demidot, P., Nordin, M., Parnianpour, M. and Waldburger, M.
Copy of Paper Available?: No
Status: Completed
Contact:  
Abstract/ Description: Our surveys have shown lifetime prevalence of LBP over 30% among schoolchildren.  The purpose of this study was to evaluate the relationship between back and isokinetic trunk strength, anthropometric parameters, and sports activities. One hundred and seventeen healthy children aged 10-16 years were included. All these volunteers had semi-structured interview, anthropometric and dynamic strength measurements. Lifetime prevalence of back pain was 44.5% and point prevalence was 13%. In this cross-sectional study, anthropometric and strength profiles were significantly related to age and gender. Non specific low back pain was not correlated to trunk muscle strength and/or sports activities.
Publication Information: (1993) Spine, 18, pp 1199-1205
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Title: The epidemiology of low-back pain in an adolescent population (1992)
Author(s): Olsen, T.L., Anderson, R.L., Dearwater, S.R., Kriska, A.M., Cauley, J.A., Aaron, D.J., and Laporte, R.E.
Copy of Paper Available?: No
Status: Completed
Contact:  
Abstract/ Description: 
Publication Information:(1992) American Journal of Public Health, 82, 606-608
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Title: Back Pain in Children and Teenagers (1992)
Author(s): Balagué, F. and Nordin, M.
Copy of Paper Available?: No
Status: Completed
Contact:  
Abstract/ Description:  book chapter
Publication Information: Baillière's Clinical Rheumatology, Vol 6, No 3, pp 575-593, October 1992
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Title: Back pain in schoolchildren (1991)
Author(s): Davoine, P.
Copy of Paper Available?: No
Status: Completed
Contact:  
Abstract/ Description: 
Publication Information: Doctoral dissertation, University of Grenoble, France.
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Title: The epidemiology of pain in children and adolescents: a review(1991)
Author(s): Goodman, J.E. and McGrath, P.J.
Copy of Paper Available?: No
Status: Completed
Contact:  
Abstract/ Description: 
Publication Information:(1991) Pain 46 (3), 247-264
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Title: Förekomst av ryggont i årskurs 8 ock 9' (The occurrence of back pain in 8th and 9th graders) (1990)
Author(s): Brattberg, G. and Wickman, V.
Copy of Paper Available?: No
Status: Completed
Contact:  
Abstract/ Description: 
Publication Information:(1990) Meeting of the Swedish Medical Association 1990, Proceedings
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Title: Low back pain in schoolchildren (1988)
Author(s): Balague, R., Dutiot, G. and Waldburger, M.
Copy of Paper Available?: No
Status: Completed
Contact:  
Abstract/ Description: 
Publication Information:(1988) Scandinavian Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine, 20, 175-179.
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Title: Prediction of cervical and low-back pain based on routine school health examinations(1985)
Author(s): Hertzberg, A.
Copy of Paper Available?: No
Status: Completed
Contact:  
Abstract/ Description: 
Publication Information:(1985) Scand J Primary Health Care, 3, 247-253
Title: Ryglidelser hos skolebörn (Back pain in school aged children) (1974)
Author(s): Engbaek, S.
Copy of Paper Available?: No
Status: Completed
Contact:  
Abstract/ Description: 
Publication Information:(1974) J. Dan Med Assoc 136 (15), 803-?
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Ergonomics and Education
Title:

THE TEACHING OF ERGONOMICS IN SCHOOLS: A REVIEW OF THE SITUATION IN THE UK  (2003)

Author(s): Woodcock, A.
Copy of Paper Available?: Yes - View Paper (pdf 77 kb. opens in a new window) with permission of the Ergonomics Society of Korea
Status: Completed
Contact: Andree Woodcock
Abstract/ Description: The lack of enthusiasm for ergonomics displayed by designers and engineers has long been recognized in the profession. Various methods have been employed to reduce this. This paper reviews work conducted over a number of years to look at the way in which ergonomics is taught in schools, in the UK, with a view to determining whether there is potential for increasing the awareness of ergonomics and integrating it into the curriculum, to build up ‘grassroot’ support and understanding of the discipline, which can be built upon by tertiary educators.
Publication Information: (2003) Proceedings of the XVth Triennial Congress of the International Ergonomics Association, Aug 24-29, 2003, Seoul, Korea (CD ROM)
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Title: The Teaching of Ergonomics in Schools: What is Happening? (2001)
Author(s): Woodcock, A. and Denton, H.
Copy of Paper Available?: Yes - View Paper (pdf 157 kb. opens in a new window)
Status: Completed
Contact: Andree Woodcock
Abstract/ Description: The relationship between ergonomics and the disciplines it informs has always been tenuous. Woodcock and Galer Flyte (1997) hypothesized that teaching ergonomics in schools would lead to a greater acceptance and willingness to learn and use ergonomics techniques during tertiary education and once in professional practice. This paper discusses the relationship between ergonomics and design, and considers the teaching of ergonomics in both primary and secondary schools. Preliminary results of surveys conducted with first year undergraduates to investigate the teaching of ergonomics they received at both ‘GCSE’ and ‘A’ level are presented which indicate that most ergonomics education occurred, as expected, in design and technology courses, but was also present in other disciplines.
Publication Information: (2001), The teaching of ergonomics in schools, in Hanson, M.A.. (Ed), Contemporary Ergonomics 2001, Taylor and Francis, pp. 311-315
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Title: Educational Ergonomics: Educational Design and Educational Performance
Author(s): Smith, T.J.
Copy of Paper Available?: Yes - View Paper (pdf 429 kb. opens in a new window)
Status: Completed
Contact: Tom Smith
Abstract/ Description:Educational ergonomics is defined as that field of human factors/ergonomic science concerned with the interaction of educational performance and educational design. The premise of educational ergonomics is that student performance to a substantial degree is context specific---specialized in relation to specific design factors---and that ergonomic interventions directed at design improvements therefore can benefit education. This report introduces the field, delineates evidence for performance-design interaction at different educational system levels, and identifies a number of research issues and questions.
Publication Information: 
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Title: Human Factors/Ergonomics Issues with Online and Distance Learning
Author(s): Smith, T.J., Racine, S., and Bhuanantanondh, P.
Copy of Paper Available?: Yes - View paper (pdf 363 kb. opens in a new window)
Status: Completed
Contact: Tom Smith
Abstract/ Description:This paper deals with human factors/ergonomics (HF/E) issues related to the design and use of online and distance learning environments. The field of HF/E deals with the interaction of performance and design. There is ample evidence from differential learning research that the preponderance of variability in learning is attributable to how the learning environment is designed. Thus, the HF/E concern with online and distance learning (ODL) environments is how th design of ODL interfaces, environments, and technologies can be improved to benefit student learning and educational system performance. Answers to this question remain controversial and poorly defined. The advent of ODL communities---virtual or remote classrooms that support teaching at a distance with no direct contact between teacher and student---has introduced a new domain of system and interface design features, problems, and issues whose influence on student learning and educational system performance is largely not understood from a practical perspective, and largely unexplored from a research perspective. This report will address this topic from a number of different perspectives, related to: (1) characterization of the field of educational ergonomics, concerned with how educational design influence learning performance; and (2) application of educational ergonomic findings and principle for designing online and distance educational interfaces, environments, technologies and systems. The report will provide a better understanding of how the design of online and distance learning systems influences educational performance, and how to design online and distance learning environments to benefit learning and educational systems performance.
Publication Information:submitted for the virtual conference 'Home on the Web: The Challenges and the Opportunities of Online Learning Communities
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Title:

 Ergonomics: it’s never too soon to start (1998)

Author(s): Woodcock A. and Galer Flyte, M.
Copy of Paper Available?: Yes - View paper (pdf 131 kb. opens in a new window)
Status: Completed
Contact: Andrée Woodcock
Abstract/ Description: The field of product design is highly competitive, with increasing pressure placed on designers to develop products which meet user requirements and achieve competitive advantage. It has long been appreciated that engineers and designers do not use ergonomics information as effectively and efficiently as they might, to the detriment of the final product. A number of ways have been proposed to increase the use of ergonomics information in concept design such as developing design support tools or increasing the accessibility of ergonomics texts. Another approach is to increase ergonomics input in the curriculum at all levels of education (i.e. primary, secondary and tertiary). By doing this future designers and engineers will have a predisposition towards user centred issues. This paper considers the relationship of ergonomics to design, reviews integration of ergonomics in the product design process and looks at current ergonomics education in schools and universities.
Publication Information: (1998), Ergonomics: It's never too soon to start, Product Design Education Conference, University of Glamorgan, 6th-7th July
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Educational Environments and Information Technology
Title:

Changing education ergonomics (2002)

Author(s): Bennett, C.
Copy of Paper Available?: Yes - View Paper (pdf, 192 kb, opens in a new window)
Status: Completed
Contact: Cheryl Bennett
Abstract/ Description: Information technology has been changing the implements of education. Young students are being exposed to ergonomic risks related to this change as they transport and use these tools. Furniture, computers and backpacks are putting students at risk and they receive little training about these hazards. Elements of education that pose a risk to students are presented. Potential changes to educational ergonomics are discussed.
Publication Information: (2002) Proceedings of the XVI Annual International Occupational Ergonomics and Safety Conference, Toronto, Canada, June 10-12, 2002  (CD ROM)
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Title: Impact of the New Educational Technology Standards on USA Schools (2002)
Author(s): Napper, V.
Copy of Paper Available?: Yes - View Paper (pdf, 154 kb, opens in a new window)
Status: Completed
Contact: Vicki Napper
Abstract/ Description: The USA National Council for Accreditation of Teacher Education (NCATE) has developed a new conceptual framework consisting of six standards to assess teacher preparation programs after the year 2000. Standard 1 targets those resources of knowledge, skills, and dispositions associated with use of technology in classroom settings by pre-service educators. These professional standards will have significant impact on technology diffusion in educational settings as well as on teacher preparation programs in terms of training and learning outcomes. To effectively apply these standards and create safe and healthful learning environments, the redesign of the educational system must also include an understanding of the principles or ergonomics and its application in educational settings.
Publication Information: (2002) Proceedings of the XVI Annual International Occupational Ergonomics and Safety Conference, Toronto, Canada, June 10-12, 2002  (CD ROM)
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Title: Internet access in U.S. public schools and classrooms: 1994-2000 NCES 2001-071 (2001)
Author(s): Cattagni, A. & Farris Westat, E.
Copy of Paper Available?: No
Status: Completed
Contact:  
Abstract/ Description: 
Publication Information:(2001) U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistic, Office of Educational Research and Improvement
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Title: Running to catch a moving train: Schools and information technologies.(1998)
Author(s): Becker, H.J.
Copy of Paper Available?: No
Status: Completed
Contact:  
Abstract/ Description: 
Publication Information:(1998) Theory into Practice, 37(1), 20-30
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Title: Report to the President on the use of technology to strengthen K-12 education in the United States (1997)
Author(s): Presidents Committee of advisors on Science and Technology
Copy of Paper Available?: No
Status: Completed
Contact:  
Abstract/ Description: 
Publication Information:(1997) U.S. Department of Education, National Center for Education Statistic, Office of Educational Research and Improvement
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Issues for Teachers
Title:

AN INVESTIGATION OF PRIMARY SCHOOL TEACHERS EDUCATION ON COMPUTER RELATED ERGONOMICS (2003)

Author(s): Dockrell, S., Fallon, E. Kelly, M., Masterson, B., Shields, N.
Copy of Paper Available?: Yes - View Paper (pdf, 85kb, opens in new window)
Status: Completed
Contact: Sara Dockrell
Abstract/ Description: A national survey to investigate teacher education on computer related ergonomics was carried out by postal questionnaire. Questionnaires (n=1863) were returned from 416 of the 830 schools included in the study. Almost all schools (99.7%) had computers for children’s use. The majority (89.6%) of teachers had received computer training but few (17.6%) had received ergonomic information. Respondents were not satisfied with their current knowledge of ergonomics. It is recommended that ergonomics is included in existing teacher education programmes.
Publication Information: (2003) Proceedings of the XVth Triennial Congress of the International Ergonomics Association, Aug 24-29, 2003, Seoul, Korea (CD ROM) with permission of the Ergonomics Society of Korea
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Title: Elementary School Teachers' Working Comfort while Using Computers in School and at Home (2001)
Author(s): Williams, I.M.
Copy of Paper Available?: Yes - View Paper (pdf, 168kb, opens in new window)
Status: Completed
Contact: Dr. Inger Williams
Abstract/ Description:This survey of Oregon’s elementary school teachers addressed four questions. First, to what extent do teachers use computers in school and at home? Second, what tasks do they perform? Third, how comfortable are they when using the computer? Fourth, if they are uncomfortable, do they know how to adjust their workstations ergonomically? Two hundred and eighteen elementary school teachers surveys were returned (a response rate of 32%). Teachers on average used the computer between 1-2 hours in school and 2-3 hours at home. They created lesson plans and material, performed administrative tasks, did Internet searches and used e-mail. Forty three percent used the computer as a teaching tool. Eighty percent responded that they have experienced discomfort during computer use both in school and at home. The discomfort was primarily in the neck and shoulders, lower back, wrists and eyes. It is suggested that ergonomic awareness training needs to be included in teacher training and in school districts in service programs.
Publication Information:(2001) Presented at the International Society for Occupational Ergonomics and Safety XV Annual Conference, Fairfax, Virginia, USA, International Society for Occupational Ergonomics and Safety. (not in proceedings)
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Title: Health Risks with Computer Use in New Zealand Schools(2000)
Author(s): Lai, K-W.
Copy of Paper Available?: Yes - View Paper (pdf, 65kb, opens in new window)
Status: Completed
Contact: Kwok-Wing Lai
Abstract/ Description:With the increased use of computers, and particularly with the increasing use of the Internet in schools, health and education professionals have suggested the need for teachers and students to be ergonomically conscious when using computers. A project was conducted in 1999 to investigate the extent of awareness of health risks associated with computer use in schools of principals, teachers, and administrators of all the primary and secondary schools in Otago and Southland, New Zealand. Results in this study show that although a high proportion of the respondents were aware of these issues, few people took any active preventive measures or participated in any professional development to reduce these health risks. It is also found that nearly two-third of the school administrators, more than half of the teachers, and nearly 30% of the principals in this study had experienced some kind of health problems related to computer use. Strategies to deal with these issues such as the need for professional development are also discussed in this paper.
Publication Information: (2000) Presented at the ICCE/ICCAI 2000 Conference, Taipei, Taiwan (November 21 - 24, 2000)
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Title: Teachers' Tools for the 21st Century: A Report on Teachers' Use of Technology NCES 2000-102 (2000)
Author(s): US Department of Education
Copy of Paper Available?: No
Status: Completed
Contact:  
Abstract/ Description: 
Publication Information:(1997) Presidents Committee of advisors on Science and Technology, Panel on Education Technology
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Title: Will new teachers be prepared to teach in a digital age? (1999)
Author(s): Moursund, D. & Bielefeldt, T.
Copy of Paper Available?: No
Status: Completed
Contact:  
Abstract/ Description: 
Publication Information:International Society for Technology in Education and Milken Exchange on Education technology
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Ergonomics Curriculum
Title: Ergonomics in the Secondary School Curriculum (2002)
Author(s): Woodcock, A.
Copy of Paper Available?: Yes - View Paper (pdf, 168 kb, opens in new window)
Status: Completed
Contact: Andrée Woodcock
Abstract/ Description: This paper addresses the extent to which ergonomics and ergonomics related subjects are present in the AQA (Assessment and Qualifications Alliance) Specifications for GCSE, Advanced, and the forthcoming Vocational GCSE Levels. Previous research has indicated that some aspects of ergonomics are taught in secondary schools, but this has been largely based on reports by first year design and engineering undergraduates. With the growth in IT and multidisciplinary subjects, it is believed that ergonomics is making a significant, but largely unrecognized contribution to a number of disciplines in secondary schools. A better understanding of this could make an important contribution to reappraising the strengths of our discipline and indicate the way forward to a more proactive and creative approach to the development of curricular support at this level.
Publication Information: (2002)  Ergonomics in the secondary school curriculum, in McCabe, P.T. (Ed), Contemporary Ergonomics 2002, Taylor and Francis, pp. 558 - 563
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Safety Issues for Children and Children's Products
Title:

THE ERGONOMIC RESEARCH AND DESIGN EVALUATION OF CHILD CAR SAFETY SEATING DEVICE (2003)

Author(s): Lai, H-H.
Copy of Paper Available?: Yes - View Paper (pdf, 103kb, opens in new window) with permission of the Ergonomics Society of Korea
Status: Completed
Contact: Hsin-Hsi Lai
Abstract/ Description: The purpose of this study is emphasized on searching for the ergonomic child safety seating design to reduce the neck injuries during forward car collision. The new designed prototype of ergonomic safety seat, featuring with two cushions under the seat, buffering device in the back-rest support and lowery placing the child restrain belt through the rear side of the seat, is suitable for the use of those children with weight ranging from 9 to 18 kilograms. The forward car collision experiment was performed in National Vehicle Research Center. Results of the collision experiment show that the new designed ergonomic safety seat can decrease by 30.19 percent, comparing with the national standard value, in the portion of head acceleration and also can decrease by 12.34 percent in the portion of chest acceleration under the conditions of standard impact velocity and maximum simulated car acceleration. The collision experiment also reveals that the new ergonomic designed seat can obviously eliminate the acceleration value in comparison with the conventional standard safety seat in the areas of dummy child’s head, neck and chest according to the real dynamic impact detection reports.
Publication Information: (2003) Proceedings of the XVth Triennial Congress of the International Ergonomics Association, Aug 24-29, 2003, Seoul, Korea (CD ROM) with permission of the Ergonomics Society of Korea
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Title: Towards Swedish Guidelines for Children's Agricultural Tasks (2003)
Author(s): Lundqvist, P. and Alwall, C.
Copy of Paper Available?: Yes - View Paper (pdf, 70kb, opens in new window)
Status: Completed
Contact: Peter Lundqvist
Abstract/ Description: Agriculture is among the most dangerous occupations both for the working population – and for children. In Sweden there are about 3 - 8 fatal injuries among minors in farm environments every year. Many injuries are occurring during actual work or when children are helping their parents with minor jobs. According to Swedish legislation minors has to be provided with appropriate education, instructions and information about health & safety related to his/her work with regard to the minors age and maturity. Today there is no help or support for parents in this situation. We are now starting a process to establish Swedish guidelines for children's agricultural tasks to meet the demands from legislation and to support the farm families with guidelines which may help them to handle this situation.
Publication Information: (2003) Proceedings of the XVth Triennial Congress of the International Ergonomics Association, Aug 24-29, 2003, Seoul, Korea (CD ROM) with permission of the Ergonomics Society of Korea
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Title: Physical Demands of Installing Forward Facing Child Safety Seats Into Vehicles (2003)
Author(s): Potvin, J.R., Brown, S.H.M., Grondin, D., Gonzalez, M.
Copy of Paper Available?: Yes - View Paper (pdf, 123kb, opens in new window)
Status: Completed
Contact: Jim Potvin
Abstract/ Description: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the biomechanical demands on parents as they install child safety systems into motor vehicles and as they place children in these systems. Muscle activation and joint rotation data were collected bilaterally from the trunk, shoulders and hands/wrist during installation and tethering of forward facing seats and child placement. It was concluded that these tasks can be very demanding and, thus, some individuals may not be capable of completing these tasks correctly putting the child at risk during a motor vehicle accident.
Publication Information: (2003) Proceedings of the 34th Annual Conference of the Association of Canadian Ergonomists, October 15-18, 2003, London, Ontario, Canada  (CD ROM)
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Title: Encounters with Child's Meal Toys: Observations of Parents' and Children's Precautionary Behaviors (2002)
Author(s): Brown, S.B. and Smith-Jackson, Tonya L.
Copy of Paper Available?: Yes - View Paper (pdf, 206kb, opens in new window)
Status: Completed
Contact: Tonya Smith-Jackson
Abstract/ Description: This study focused on the effectiveness of warnings on fast-food promotional toys. Fast-food restaurants use a variety of sales gimmicks to increase sales and enhance customer loyalty. A popular sales approach is to give free toys to customers who purchase a child’s meal. This study was a preliminary examination of parents’ and children’s  precautions when using child’s meal toys. Sixty naturalistic observations were conducted in four popular restaurant chains. Seventy-two percent of the fast food warnings were thrown away without being read. Most of the children retrieved the toy on their own, indicating very little supervision by parents. Recommendations relevant to child’s meal toy design and warning effectiveness are discussed.
Publication Information: (2002) Proceedings of the XVI Annual International Occupational Ergonomics and Safety Conference, Toronto, Canada, June 10-12, 2002  (CD ROM)
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Title: Design of Childproof Barriers to Prevent Falls From a Height in Public Places (2002)
Author(s): Culvenor, J.F.
Copy of Paper Available?: Yes - View Paper (pdf, 174kb, opens in new window)
Status: Completed
Contact: John Culvenor
Abstract/ Description: This paper highlights the risk of children falling from a height in public places. Injury statistics and points of law are noted and examples of poor design are given. Good design features are discussed. It is stressed that conformance with building standards should be followed by regular assessment of public safety issues and action as appropriate.
Publication Information: (2002) Proceedings of the XVI Annual International Occupational Ergonomics and Safety Conference, Toronto, Canada, June 10-12, 2002  (CD ROM)
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Title: Child-Centered Safety Research Issues (2002)
Author(s): Smith-Jackson, Tonya L.
Copy of Paper Available?: Yes - View Paper (pdf, 182kb, opens in new window)
Status: Completed
Contact: Tonya Smith-Jackson
Abstract/ Description: This paper is an overview of the important factors researchers should consider when conducting safety-related research that involves children. Important considerations derived from developmental psychology are discussed in terms of their application to efforts to elicit the needs, preferences, attitudes, and perceptions of children.
Publication Information: (2002) Proceedings of the XVI Annual International Occupational Ergonomics and Safety Conference, Toronto, Canada, June 10-12, 2002  (CD ROM)
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Designing with Children
Title:

A STUDY ON COGNITIVE CHARACTERISTICS OF CHILDREN’S INFORMATION ARCHITECTURE USING PARTICIPATORY DESIGN TECHNIQUE  (2003)

Author(s):

Baek, Joon-Sang and Lee, Kun-Pyo

Copy of Paper Available?: Yes - View Paper (pdf, 107kb, opens in new window)
Status: Completed
Contact: Joon-Sang Baek
Abstract/ Description: When the design process involves the participation of children, it requires methods that take into consideration the users’ characteristics such as immature cognitive ability, language skill, motor-sensory capability and shyness so that it can effectively elicit their needs. In response to such demand, a variety of methods and guidelines specialized in children have been developed from the 1960’s. Participatory design deals with design problems allowing users to participate in design process and generate ideas with the aid of generative toolkits and workshop. Therefore, participatory design allows designers to look at problems from children’s standpoint and simultaneously overcome children’s immature language skill or shyness. In this research, two participatory design toolkits – ‘Info Block’ and ‘Info Tree’ – are introduced. As tools that can elicit user needs in information architecture design for children’s websites, they allow users to collaborate and build the structure that reflects their cognitive process. In the case study, the toolkits are applied to evaluate the usability of the directory structure of Yahoo! Kids, Korea (from now on, Yahoo Kids). The result shows that children’s information architecture differs from that of adults in depth and breadth, clarity of contents and logicalness, and that the novel methods can effectively elicit users’ needs.
Publication Information: (2003) Proceedings of the XVth Triennial Congress of the International Ergonomics Association, Aug 24-29, 2003, Seoul, Korea (CD ROM) with permission of the Ergonomics Society of Korea
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General Children and Ergonomics Issues
Title:

ERGONOMICS FOR CHILDREN AND EDUCATIONAL ENVIRONMENTS - AROUND THE WORLD  (2003)

Author(s):

Bennett, C. and Tien, D.

Copy of Paper Available?: Yes - View Paper (pdf, 2.29Mb, opens in new window)
Status: Completed
Contact: Cheryl Bennett
Abstract/ Description: This paper briefly reviews activities and research related to children and educational environments. The increasing prevalence and role of information and communications technology in the lives of children as well as the incidence of back pain and heavy loads children carry in back packs are raising concerns around the world. Out of this concern an International Ergonomics Association Technical Committee has been formed. A survey was sent to Ergonomics for Children and Educational Environments membership and those who have communicated through the committee. The results are compiled to describe a cross-section of international efforts to address the health and the future of children.
Publication Information: (2003) Proceedings of the XVth Triennial Congress of the International Ergonomics Association, Aug 24-29, 2003, Seoul, Korea (CD ROM) with permission of the Ergonomics Society of Korea
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Title:

ErgoKids: How will Future Generations Deal with Current Exposures (2003)

Author(s):

Schultz, L.J.H.

Copy of Paper Available?: Yes - View Paper (pdf, 47 kb, opens in new window) with permission of the Ergonomics Society of Korea
Status: Completed
Contact: Lawrence Schultz
Abstract/ Description: Children, the future of our generation and of all generations have often been described as sponges, for their unique ability to absorb knowledge, learn new concepts and languages and develop new abilities without the negative affects of age and opinion. Children are in their developing years and their bones and physical structure has not yet fully developed to a point of resiliency that can withstand stress, pressure, and a modicum of physical abuse. Adult ergonomists have only relatively recently (within the last 14 years) focused on controlling stress, pressure, and force exposures to adults from their interaction with technology. Little has been done to protect the most vulnerable of our populations. Adults have designed ‘new’ and ‘ergonomic’ furniture to reduce the affects of technology use in adult populations; ‘ergonomic’ chairs, ‘ergonomic’ workstations, ‘ergonomic’ mice, ‘ergonomic’ keyboards. New international efforts are now focusing on the design of workstations (classroom) for children to address ergonomic and anthropometric concerns of fostered through the education of young adults. Technology is not the only ‘culprit’ in this new age onslaught. Adults’ desire to have the most well-education population ever has driven educators of the young to provide multiple learning opportunities; in the classroom and at home through the use of that dreaded word – homework. We have advanced technology and advanced knowledge, yet we have regressing health in our younger population. Ergonomics, children, technology and health are integral and inseparable. We need to start NOW to protect those who cannot protect themselves because we have not given them the knowledge to do so themselves. What do you plan to do to protect YOUR ErgoKids?
Publication Information: (2003) Proceedings of the XVth Triennial Congress of the International Ergonomics Association, Aug 24-29, 2003, Seoul, Korea (CD ROM) with permission of the Ergonomics Society of Korea
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last updated Octover 4, 2006
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