Learn concrete tips for better classroom ergonomics with Dr. Diane Bartholomew and daughter Kami.
This is a fascinating and helpful video that discusses workplace injuries and how to prevent them. Certainly, from the classroom furniture that students use to the office desks that adults utilize, there are safety concerns at every stage. And at every stage there are key ways to take care of your body and to ensure safety while you’re doing your classroom or your job. Learn with these tips about keeping yourself and your children safe in the classroom and as part of the workforce.
Most school systems don’t consider this, but the traditional school desks aren’t the only option for the classroom. More and more schools are looking into other alternatives which include standing desks, exercise balls for sitting and other choices.
The standing desk is quite an interesting option, as it allows children more movement and ability to get out their energy in the course of the day. These desks allow children to work at a work platform, but one that is their height. So, rather than sitting all day, they are standing behind the desk. Most people can’t use this all day, so it might be important to have a sitting option for the children as well. But by giving them both choices, they can really make themselves more comfortable and productive in the course of the day.
Exercise balls are also an interesting way to sit at a desk. They help to cushion the back and to allow for movement and the release of energy in the course of the day. Of course, they can be distracting and the child might find himself playing more than concentrating, but this is something that needs to be worked on and discussed.
Both children who sit for the entire day and adults who sit on office chairs all day long need to think about the type of chair that they use. In the office, there are many recommendations for office chairs. The seat height should be adjusted to a range of 420-500mm. The seat edge should be rounded so that it minimizes the pressure under the thighs.
The seat pan should actually tilt forward and backwards by about 5 degrees and the seat base should swivel and have five or more castors for stability.
The backrest should be adjustable and about 500mm in height. If the seat and backrest don’t adjust by themselves, the angle between them should be about 105 degrees. While most people wouldn’t think about the upholstery, the upholstery material should be something that doesn’t slide or sweat.
Footrests are actually very important for shorter people. The footrest should be a minimum of 450mm in length by 350mm in width. Certainly, most classroom furniture doesn’t include office chairs, but these specs are important for the teacher’s desk or for kids who work in chairs of this sort at home.
What do celebrities, politicians and lawyers have in common?
They all spend a great deal of time and money considering what they wear and how they present themselves.
Hotels, restaurants, banks and other businesses also put considerable thought into their color choices and décor. Research has shown that colors actually impact performance, which is why image consulting has become much more than a cottage industry in both Hollywood and Washington DC. Color is important – and it especially essential in our classrooms, just like classroom furniture.
Similar to other stimulants such as scent or sound, colors communicate with the brain directly. The mind and body react to them on an instinctive, subconscious level. Therefore, color choices can transform the school and influence learning in numerous ways. The majority of classrooms and cafeterias in America have drab white walls and colorless tile floors. Why do we insist on preserving such an outdated model? Imagine more colorful cafeterias and cafeteria tables? It would be awesome.
Numerous studies have researched the impact of different colors on our brains. The results can contribute greatly to a wide range of learning environments including classrooms, laboratories and other facilities.
School ergonomics is helpful for school interior designers. It is good to know how a student will most likely succeed when they are in a learning environment. Indeed, in the last few years, according to an article published in 2008 in the UK’s ‘The Guardian,’ “Schools are being encouraged to take ergonomics seriously, to improve pupils’ posture and their concentration.” This means that those who are involved in ergonomics at school should look at all types of classroom furniture. This includes: school chairs, school desks, any folding tables that are used, folding chairs, computer tables, classroom tables and classroom chairs.
Indeed, in the UK a campaign was launched on this very topic. Entitled ‘The Safe Seats of Learning,’ it sought to put an end to the “one-size-fits-all” approach to school furnishings. Research found that given that there are an increasing number of students using computers, it has been found that “inadequate workstations can have serious implications for pupils’ musculoskeletal health.” Thus, for those involved in the ergonomics of school design, it is important to bear this in mind.