Teaching Children Ergonomics

In some previous articles, I have discussed the controversy over teaching computer skills to young children. Most schools now have computer laborites and offer computer classes to children beginning in kindergarten. One concern brought up by technology hesitates, is the children’s health.

One school in Redmond, Washington has decided that learning the basic keystrokes and mouse functions are not the only important concepts when it comes to technology.

The school also teaches ergonomics. Ergonomics is a Greek word that relates work to the person. The concept of ergonomics is to help the user or worker learn to be comfortable and compatible to the work. Without ergonomics, the user is forced to fit the work.

The idea behind the course is that students are not learning how to properly sit and operate a computer when it comes to posture. The teacher of the ergonomics class feels that the students should learn good habits. If the schools are going to invest millions of dollars to buy technology, then the children should be taught how to use it in a healthy manner.

For one week, the children undergo an ergonomics class set up in the gym. The students rotate from station to station learning how to use their bodies properly while operating on the machines.

It has been found that now more and more students are developing carpal tunnel syndrome, neck pain, and other stress related injuries from long-term computer work.

Briarcliff High School in New York is among one of the first schools to evaluate students health when it comes to technology. Student complainants sparked research. Researchers are afraid that proper calcification of the bones may not take place if students do not use good posture when working on the computer. They are unsure how great the impact will be over the years.

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