Healthy Laptop computing


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A Laptop classroom ergonomics research project conducted by John M. Robbins of Technology Integrators & Collaborators.

Project Objectives:
RESEARCH: Extend current ergonomic research to include MLTI (Verifiable ergonomic research on Maine students using laptops does not currently exist).
EDUCATION: Raise awareness of ergonomics and healthy interaction with technology in Maine schools through workshops and online resources.
INNOVATION: Explore innovations in ergonomic laptop furniture to meet the needs of K-12 classrooms.

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Healthy Laptop computing

  1. 1. Healthy Laptop Computing A Project Lead By John M. Robbins Executive Director Technology Integrators & Collaborators www. technologyintegrators .org A Maine-based non-profit organization facilitating education through new media technologies.
  2. 2. Objectives <ul><ul><ul><li>RESEARCH: Extend current ergonomic research to include MLTI (Verifiable ergonomic research on Maine students using laptops does not currently exist). </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>EDUCATION : Raise awareness of ergonomics and healthy interaction with technology in Maine schools through workshops and online resources. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>INNOVATION : Explore innovations in ergonomic laptop furniture to meet the needs of K-12 classrooms. </li></ul></ul></ul>
  3. 3. Project Genesis <ul><li>Personal investment in research </li></ul><ul><li>Recognition of repetitive stress injuries in the workplace, and work habits begin at school </li></ul><ul><li>Classroom & furniture design needs to transform along with teaching & learning </li></ul><ul><li>Proactive problem solving is essential to the long-term success of Maine’s Learning Technology Initiative (MLTI) </li></ul>
  4. 4. Laptop Ergonomic Research
  5. 5. From Australia <ul><li>In a Laptop Schools study of 314 10-17 year old students in Australia, conducted in 2000 by Leon Straker, Ph. D. concludes the following: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Computer use by children results in different physical stresses. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Experience of adults suggests if interaction is not well managed, negative outcomes are likely </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Early evidence from children suggest similar problem </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Urgent need for quality research. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Straker, L. (2001). The physical impact of IT use on children. Children and Information Technology Symposium, John Hopkins University, John Hopkins Center for Information Technology and Health Research </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. From California <ul><li>“ Students need to be educated to appreciate how activities like playing computer games, carrying a backpack or sitting for long periods of time [at a computer] can affect their bodies.” </li></ul><ul><li>“ New design concepts created by observing the natural activities of children and fitting the technology to them should be sought.” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bennett, C (2002) Changing education ergonomics, Annual International Occupational Ergonomics and Safety Conference 2002, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA USA </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. From the White House <ul><li>Each year 1.8 million U.S. workers experience work-related musculoskeletal disorders, such as injuries from overexertion or repetitive motion…[equaling approximately] $9 billion annually in workers' compensation and other direct costs alone. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Occupational Safety and Health Administration National News Release: USDL 99-333 Monday, Nov. 22, 1999 </li></ul></ul><ul><li>&quot;Work-related musculoskeletal disorders such as back injuries and carpal tunnel syndrome are the most prevalent, most expensive and most preventable workplace injuries in the country.” </li></ul><ul><li>-Former US Secretary of Labor Alexis M. Herman </li></ul>
  8. 8. From the Press <ul><li>Although prevention of RSI’s [repetitive stress injuries] in the workplace has garnered significant attention, the possibility of a similar problem in public education has failed to attract such attention. Researchers have been unable to study the problem of RSIs in public education because of a lack of funding. The lack of federal funding stems from the fact that the two leading expert agencies on RSI’s, the National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) and the Labor Department’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), only track work related RSIs, and therefore have not explored the dangers posed to school children. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Paul Farhi & Frank Swoboda. A Computer Made for the Barney Crowd. Washington Post, April 24th, 1998 at F1. </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. From Laptop Industry Leaders <ul><li>“ The increased use of mobile computers, multimedia, and long-distance communications must be considered when studying the relationship between technology and the physical setting. For example, future research on the physical environment should explore the role of the mobile computer and other emerging technologies” </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Stuebing, S, Celsi, & J. Cousineau, L (1994) Apple Classroom of Tomorrow: Environments That Support New Modes of Learning: The Results of Two Interactive Design Workshops, New Jersey Institute of Technology. </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. From North Carolina <ul><li>“ Proper education is not only crucial to the immediate prevention of RSIs, but also to prevention of injuries over a lifetime. Posture is particularly significant for children because they are developing life-long habits. Children must increase their level of body awareness—to recognize where their bodies are being stressed, and to focus on relaxation, balance, and movement efficiency. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Bradley, LR, A Healthy Approach to Classroom Computers: Preventing a Generation of Students From Developing Repetitive Strain Injuries, North Carolina Law Review, 04/03/02, vol 80 p.300 </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Student Education
  12. 12. Healthy Laptop Computing <ul><li>A Systems Perspective for </li></ul><ul><li>Overall Health </li></ul><ul><li>Adapted From </li></ul><ul><li>Healthy Computing With Muscle Biofeedback </li></ul><ul><li>A Practical Manual for Preventing Repetitive Motion Injury </li></ul><ul><li>By Erik Peper and Katherine Hughes Gibney </li></ul><ul><li>Biofeedback Foundation of Europe, Woerden, Netherlands ©2000 </li></ul>
  13. 13. 7 components to Healthy Computing <ul><li>Work Style </li></ul><ul><li>Ergonomics </li></ul><ul><li>Somatic Awareness </li></ul><ul><li>Stress Management </li></ul><ul><li>Regeneration </li></ul><ul><li>Vision Care </li></ul><ul><li>Fitness </li></ul>
  14. 14. 1. Work Style <ul><li>Develop work habits that help you maintain health and avoid injury, such as taking breaks and pacing your workload. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Work Style describes the way you proceed. Let’s use walking as an example. Do you pace yourself so that you can finish your walk without exhaustion? Do you relax your leg muscles as you shift from side to side, getting into the rhythm of walking? </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. 2. Ergonomics <ul><li>Adjust your workspace and equipment (ex. Chair height, keyboard height) to suit your individual needs. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ergonomics is a word which describes how two things work together physically. Look at how you and your shoes work together for example. Are your shoes appropriate for the type of walk you are embarking upon? (Ever try jogging in flip flops?) Do they fit comfortably so as to avoid blisters and chafing? </li></ul></ul>
  16. 16. Ergonomic Tips for Laptop Use
  17. 17. Lateral Flexion <ul><li>Minimize lateral flexion in wrists by keeping elbows closer to body </li></ul>Verses
  18. 18. Thumb Positioning <ul><li>Keep thumbs straight and extended to increase blood flow </li></ul>Verses
  19. 19. Forearm & Wrist Vertical Flexion <ul><li>Minimize pressure to forearm & wrists by adjusting table or chair height </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Typing surfaces are typically 3-4 inches lower than writing surfaces </li></ul></ul>Verses
  20. 20. 3. Somatic Awareness <ul><li>The ability to sense muscle tension and reactivity, and the skills to let go physically, mentally and emotionally. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Somatic awareness is listening to your body and following your inner voice. Do you stop to drink when you’re thirsty? If your heart is racing, do you slow down? When you feel warmth in your feet, do you stop to change socks to avoid a blister? </li></ul></ul>
  21. 21. 4. Stress Management <ul><li>Learn how to handle life’s stresses effectively- whether at school, or home – in a way that does not adversely affect your health. (e.g., maintaining health, communicating our needs, etc.) Work stress can include feeling too much responsibility with too little control, conflicts with group members, teachers or parents, a heavy workload, and/or being bored with your work. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Stress Management is taking care of situations as they arise and not forcing yourself to do too much or getting bored from doing too little. If you’re on a long walk with your friends, do you tell friends when you need a break, or that the pace is too slow when you’re energetic? </li></ul></ul>
  22. 22. 5. Regeneration <ul><li>Allow your body to rebuild its storehouse of energy before becoming exhausted, thus preventing burnout and ill health. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Regeneration is allowing your body to rest and not pushing yourself to the point of exhaustion. Do you stop when you feel like you’re getting tired, before you become exhausted? Do you give your body time to recuperate after having stressed it with a vigorous activity? </li></ul></ul>
  23. 23. 6. Vision Care <ul><li>Protect your eyes from excessive strain and dryness (e.g., vision breaks, glare reduction, screen in focus), and wear prescription glasses that are appropriate for computer use. </li></ul><ul><li>Vision Care includes exercising your eyes and wearing appropriate eyewear. Do you alternate between looking at a distant and close objects? Do you wear a visor to protect your eyes from glare? </li></ul>
  24. 24. 7. Fitness Keep fit to avoid injury during the daily athletic event of working at the computer and include stretching, strengthening and movement. Courtesy of “Stretch Break For Kids” www. paratec .com
  25. 25. Current Laptop Use “Natural Setting”
  26. 26. Healthy Laptop Classroom Preliminary Findings <ul><li>A classroom setting that facilitates: </li></ul><ul><li>Frequent movement </li></ul><ul><li>Frequent breaks </li></ul><ul><li>Attention to ergonomics & body posture </li></ul><ul><li>Stretching </li></ul><ul><li>Varied seating </li></ul><ul><li>Modifications to existing furniture </li></ul><ul><li>… leads to a healthy laptop classroom. </li></ul>
  27. 27. Innovations in Laptop Ergonomics
  28. 28. Laptop Workstation Market Scamp Laptop Stand Price: $149.00 Portable Laptop Desk Price: $100 Air Desk Price: $129.00 Balt Lapmaster Price: $169.00 Instand beanbag table Price: $27.00
  29. 29. Conclusions <ul><li>Verifiable ergonomic research needs to continue and include students working with laptops </li></ul><ul><li>Increased awareness & education ergonomic health is a key to preventative care </li></ul><ul><li>Innovations in furniture and classroom design needs to factor: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li> current ergonomic research </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li> ergonomic laptop workstation market </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li> laptop market </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li> existing furniture within Maine schools </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>furniture budgets of Maine schools </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>current & future activities of middle school education in a 1-1 computer classroom </li></ul></ul></ul>
  30. 30. Q & A For further information & resources: Comment or questions? Please contact John M. Robbins via e-mail: [email_address]