Ergonomics for Schools
What is Ergonomics for school and why it is important?
Ergonomics is defined as the "discipline concerned with the fundamental understanding of interactions among humans and other elements of a system." (www.iea.cc and IEA 2000). It focuses on the fit between people, what they do, the objects they use and the environments they work in.
Ergonomic for school and not in school
There has been considerable activity worldwide on "Ergonomics in schools", but not so many on "Ergonomics for schools". It is differentiated from previous literature on ‘Ergonomics in Schools’ given by Legg as it emphasises ‘for’ – not ‘in’ schools. This fundamental shift may help to play a significant and meaningful role in the shifting of emphasis from the physical environment in schools by changing worldwide societal views and practices in favour of integrating ergonomic factors within national school educational curriculum. The people at schools are mostly children/ adolescents/students and teachers.
According to educational experts with a systematic viewpoint, universal factors that influence the incidence of musculoskeletal pain in schoolchildren can be divided into three groups:
- a heavy schoolbag (weighing more than 10% of body weight)
- a furniture design that does not suit human body dimensions
- an incorrect sitting posture on the part of the children themselves.
Applying ergonomic principles in the school environment prevents musculoskeletal injuries. It will also improve the school environment thereby influencing factors such as comfort, wellbeing, motivation and willingness to study. Moreover, the application of ergonomic configuration into school’s daily routine increases education productivity and quality..