Posted by: Pamela Kalivas | August 4, 2015

Get the Edge in Class: Ergonomic Tips for Back to School

BACK-TO-SCHOOL-SHOPPING-large570

Preparing for the back to school season can be a stressful time. Homework has to get done, new schedules have to be made, and school supplies have to be bought. To meet students’ essential needs, ergonomic principles should be taken into account.

According to Chris Adams from About.com, ergonomics strives to improve comfort as well as efficiency. Incorporating ergonomic friendly school supplies and ergonomic guidelines into any student’s life will help make educational tasks that much easier. So, here are 5 beneficial ergonomic tools for any student going back to school:

Key to Success: In this day and age, computers and keyboards are a staple in most schools. However, the risks associated with keyboarding may not be as well known. Poor typing posture can cause hand and wrist problems, especially for children because of their smaller hands. In order to help combat this issue, keys should be pressed on lightly, hands and wrists should hover over the keys, and wrists should be kept at a neutral position. The keyboard should sit on a flat surface and properly positioned (not tilted or propped).

Keyboard Correct

Mouse Correct

Cat Student and Mouse: When using a computer mouse, it can be easy for your hand and wrist to become aggravated. In order to avoid a mouse-related musculoskeletal injury, hold the mouse with a gentler grip and move the mouse with your forearm rather than your wrist. Position the mouse so that your wrist is in a neutral position. Additionally, it is important to choose a mouse shape and design that is comfortable for you, the student. For example, if you have smaller hands, a standard mouse may be too big and a smaller mouse may be more beneficial for your clicking needs.

How heavey is too heavyHow Heavy is Too Heavy: A backpack is a quintessential school item. Unfortunately, with textbooks getting bigger and lockers disappearing, students are carrying more than they can handle. To help aid with this problem, experts advise that students carry no more than 15-20% of their body weight on their backs.  Backpacks with wide padded straps, are better at distributing weight.  The backpack should be positioned so that it hangs just below the shoulders and rests on the hips/pelvis area.

 Y Grip

Cramping Your Style:  Writing tools can be tricky to handle because of different weights and shapes that accompany them. In order to help make the writing process easier and more comfortable, try Pen Again and EZ grip. The Pen Again is a revolutionary “Y” shaped pen/pencil that eliminates writer’s cramp. The EZ grip is a rubber grip that can be placed onto most pens/pencils and reduces hand pain due to the softness and ease of comfort.  The wider the barrel of your writing utensil, the less grip strength and pressure needed to write.

Less Paper Work: Students spend most of their time staring at white sheets of paper while in school. Unfortunately, the high contrast can lead to eye strain. If possible, it is better to use different colored paper such as yellow to reduce contrast as well as brightness.

Tablet 3More students are required to use tablets throughout the school day. As a result, visual fatigue occurs which causes eye discomfort, headaches, and blurred vision. The key to eliminating this problem is to minimize the brightness on the screen and take a break every 20 minutes. To find out more information regarding vision fatigue, check out our previous blog titled “Insider Secrets for Kicking Out Computer Fatigue.”

So don’t stress and remember an investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.

~ Pam

Sources:

https://www.ergonomicsmadeeasy.com/blog/10-tips-for-better-keyboarding/
http://www.ergo.human.cornell.edu/cumousetips.html
http://ergo.human.cornell.edu/mbergo/schoolguide.html
http://ergonomics.about.com/od/ergonomicsforchildren/tp/essential-back-to-school-gear.htm
http://www.brighthubeducation.com/special-ed-physical-disabilities/3775-ergonic-pens-and-pencils-for-students/

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