Classroom Ergonomics

The striking and innovative design of this Junior High School has outward-looking classrooms

Today, since many classrooms rely on computers as an educational tool, it is important to think about how to set up the classroom with this in mind.  In recent times, ergonomic computer equipment (computer chairs, computer tables, keyboards, mice, etc.), has developed into a huge industry.  As well as ensuring the classroom is fitted out with the best equipment, ergonomists look at how the design of equipment and environments can limit exertion and fatigue.  In other words, classroom ergonomics seeks to make the student as comfortable as possible while learning.

It is important for schools to consider the topic of ergonomics when purchasing school furniture.  Doing so can be beneficial for the students in the long-term since they are likely to be engaging in technology for the rest of their lives.  If children are fitted with the correct, ergonomically-enhanced equipment from a young age, then they are more likely to fare better later on in life too.

Thus, when looking at school computer equipment, parents and teachers should focus on computer monitors, mice and keyboards.  They should seek those that limit wear-and-tear on wrists and encourage children to sit upright, eye level on the monitor.  Curved and split keyboards are good; ergonomic roller balls, curved mice and wireless mice are also good.  Vis-à-vis the monitors, the flat paneled ones reduce eye strain and use less space.  They should then be positioned with a tilt, ensuring the top part of the screen is at eye level.

These are just a few examples of how to make a classroom fitted with computers as ergonomic and user-friendly as possible.

Creating a Healthy School Environment

Create a Healthy School Environment

All children need a positive, calm environment.  This is true for both the home and the school.  As soon as a child feels overwhelmed, there is a strong chance they will feel like they cannot cope and this is when they potentially become a danger to themselves and the other students.  It is thus the role of school administrators to ensure the physicality of the school is as comfortable as possible.

One way of doing this is by creating a pleasant, inviting, environment.  Purchasing quality school furniture (school desks, school chairs, etc.); making the playground area inviting (maybe with little corners for groups to congregate when they want to chat privately); and ensuring that the lighting is appropriate for study.School Furniture, School Desks, School Chairs, Ergonomics,

School Design Ergonomics

The Classroom Environment Contributes                                           Greatly to Learning

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.

School and Church Furniture

Ergonomic Church Furniture Can Enhance the Mood
Ergonomic Church Furniture Can Enhance the Mood

School and church furniture serve many functions. Firstly, they provide students and congregants with places to sit and focus on school work and prayer while remaining comfortable and undistracted. However, furniture is evolving now to enhance the learning environment and ability to concentrate in other ways.

Chairs and desks come in many shapes, sizes and colors. Researchers have been studying the effects of different features on people’s learning abilities and productivity. Bright color and unique shapes promote creativity and confidence in a classroom and in church, as do certain desk designs, wall colors, podiums and classroom layouts.

The Importance of Comfortable Work Environments

Bad Posture in School Can                Interfere with Learning

For children to succeed at school, it is important that they are educated in a comfortable work environment.  This means that the classroom chairs are of top quality (perhaps even ergonomically-friendly).  The classroom tables should be at the correct level for their height, and an emphasis put on the provision of quality school furniture.

According to Prakash Nair, President of Fielding/Nair International LLC and an award-winning architect, and his partner architect Randall Fielding, the company’s Principal, there are eight truths that should be upheld vis-à-vis student learning conditions.  Nair and Fielding believe:

a) Comfort matters – the more comfortable the student, the better they will work. Research on environmental design has shown the “positive effect comfort can have on learning, human productivity and creativity.” This leads to

b) There should be absolutely no discomfort for the student at school.

c) There is a link between breathing and learning and comfortable classroom chairs. The better the breathing, the better the learning.

d) Louder areas are NOT conducive to good learning.

e) School furniture should be designed small with children in mind. School furniture and their classrooms should be inviting for children, rather than spacious and overwhelming.

f) Even a café can be conducive to learning. Cafés are generally small and intimate and therefore can be a place of student creativity.

g) Make the outdoor spaces in the school comfortable. Outdoor spaces can expand the learning environment that started inside the classrooms. Finally,

h) Emotions play a role in comfort in classrooms.  As Nair concluded, “It is difficult to overemphasize the need to create environments where students can feel both secure and significant.”

If Nair and Fielding’s findings are followed by school design teams, students will end up with quality school furniture, comfortable computer tables and classroom tables and ergonomically-approved classroom chairs.  This will provide them with potentially the most comfortable work environments and the most successful learning experiences.