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ERIC Number: EJ850559
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Jun-1
Pages: 2
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0192-592X
Elementary Ergonomics
Grayson, Jennifer
T.H.E. Journal, v36 n6 p15-16 Jun 2009
What's the number 1 threat to young students using computers today? According to Dan Odell, Microsoft's in-house ergonomist, when he asked parents this very question, "the things they were most concerned about were online predators and people taking advantage of their kids. Ergonomics was fairly far down the list." Unfortunately, that same lack of regard for ergonomics can be found among educators as well. Ask one and you're almost sure to be met by a confession that the topic rates as a low priority in most schools. Perhaps it's the dry tone of the word itself that is to blame. Ergonomics, or the discipline of arranging the environment to fit the person in it, doesn't sound terribly exciting. But with as much time as people now spend on computers, Odell believes it is more relevant than ever. "If we're not conscious of using computers appropriately," he says, "we put ourselves at risk for potentially disabling injuries." Ergonomics has long been considered essential in the workplace for avoiding visual and musculoskeletal injury and discomfort, and Odell sees K-12 coming on board. According to Boston University occupational therapy professor Karen Jacobs, the key to rectifying K-12's lack of attention to healthy technology use is by securing a topdown effort. Only that degree of commitment can help kids make ergonomics second nature. "Whenever I go into the principal's office," she says, referring to the school taking part in her study, "I'm always happy to see that he's applying ergonomics to his own computer workstation. When you have a commitment from the administration, then the teachers become committed, the children are committed, and you get a pay-it-forward from the parents as well."
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California; Massachusetts