Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Computers In Schools Are Putting Elementary Schoolchildren At Risk For Posture Problems, Says Cornell Study

Date:
February 2, 1999
Source:
Cornell University
Summary:
Children in elementary schools may be placed at risk by computer workstations that have been designed with little or no regard for musculoskeletal development, according to a Cornell University study.

ITHACA, N.Y. -- Children in elementary schools may be placed at risk by computer workstations that have been designed with little or no regard for musculoskeletal development, according to a Cornell University study.

Related Articles


The ergonomic and environmental psychology researchers found that almost 40 percent of the third-to-fifth graders studied used computer workstations that put them at postural risk; the other 60 percent scored in a range indicating "some concern." None of the 95 students studied scored within acceptable levels for their postural comfort, says Shawn Oates who conducted the study for her 1995 master's degree at Cornell. The study was recently published in the Computers in Schools (1998, vol.14, issues 3/4, pages 55-63).

In the study, all the keyboard heights were higher than recommended levels, none of the keyboards included wrist or palm rests and the monitors were generally too high.

"In fact, more than half the monitors were higher than adult recommended levels," says Oates, now a standards integration engineer at Ford Motor Co. Oates observed and assessed students at workstations using a standard observational measurement tool that provides quantitative data.

The research was conducted under the supervision of Cornell professors Gary Evans, an environmental psychologist, and Alan Hedge, an ergonomics expert.

"The study revealed a striking misfit between the workstation facilities and the ergonomic requirements for these children," says Oates. She who found no differences in how the children rated in three diverse public school settings: urban, suburban and rural, in upstate New York and southeastern Michigan.

"The research suggests that ergonomic considerations for computer use among elementary schoolchildren are frequently disregarded; this has implications for health problems down the line," adds Evans, an expert on environmental stress and human environment relations.

The researchers found that computer workstations most affected the posture of third graders. Overall, Oates says, the study's findings raise "concern but not alarm."

However, she adds: "Most children are now working for short periods of time on keyboards that are too high and incorrectly angled, looking sharply up at monitors and with their legs dangling, unsupported on the floor." As children spend more time at such workstations, she says, their risk for injury is likely to increase.

"Although children do not currently spend prolonged periods of time keyboarding, their developing musculoskeletal structures could be especially vulnerable to trauma," Oates says. "At this time, we just don't know."

Studies of adults have found that poor posture at computer workstations is linked to risk of neck, shoulder, back, arm and hand musculoskeletal discomfort. No comparable study has yet been done in school settings, Oates says.

Oates points out that about 70 percent of the nation's 30 million elementary schoolchildren use computers in school, with a 10 percent increase each year.

The study was supported by the Cornell College of Human Ecology.

Related World Wide Web sites: The following sites provide additional information on this news release. Some might not be part of the Cornell University community, and Cornell has no control over their content or availability.

Applied Research in Human Environment Relations at Cornell: http://dea.human.cornell.edu/Dea/apresher/humanenverel.html

Cornell Ergonomics Web: http://ergo.human.cornell.edu/


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Cornell University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Cornell University. "Computers In Schools Are Putting Elementary Schoolchildren At Risk For Posture Problems, Says Cornell Study." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 2 February 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/02/990202071806.htm>.
Cornell University. (1999, February 2). Computers In Schools Are Putting Elementary Schoolchildren At Risk For Posture Problems, Says Cornell Study. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/02/990202071806.htm
Cornell University. "Computers In Schools Are Putting Elementary Schoolchildren At Risk For Posture Problems, Says Cornell Study." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/02/990202071806.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

Texas Nurse Nina Pham Cured of Ebola

AFP (Oct. 25, 2014) — An American nurse who contracted Ebola while caring for a Liberian patient in Texas has been declared free of the virus and will leave the hospital. Duration: 01:01 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) — IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) — A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) — The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins