An investigation of children's posture and discomfort during computer use

Discipline of Physiotherapy, School of Medicine, Trinity College, Dublin, Ireland.
Ergonomics (Impact Factor: 1.56). 11/2007; 50(10):1582-92. DOI: 10.1080/00140130701584944
Source: PubMed


This study investigated schoolchildren's posture and discomfort while working at computers. Sixty-eight children (mean age 9.5 years) were observed at school during normal computer sessions lasting 15-25 min. Rapid upper limb assessment (RULA) was used to evaluate posture, and a body discomfort chart (BDC) and a modified visual analogue scale (VAS) were used to record site and intensity of discomfort. Computer tasks were noted and in accordance with RULA, postures were classified as Action Level (AL) 1 (acceptable) to 4 (needs immediate change). Most children adopted postures at an unacceptable level while working at computers. None of the postures were in AL 1; 60% were in AL 2; 38% were in AL 3; and 2% were in AL 4. Posture became worse over time. Poor posture was associated with discomfort, but it is not clear if it was related to the sitting posture or to the computer use. Children who reported discomfort had a higher mean RULA grand score (5.0) than those who did not report discomfort (4.4). The type of computer task influenced the children's posture. RULA proved generally to be a suitable method for evaluating children's posture.

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    • "Moreover, more than three quarters of the postures adopted in the video scenarios involved the child seated in asymmetrical postures, including side sitting on the floor and side-lying in bed. Questions regarding the validity of the RULA for assessing similar postures among children have been previously raised by other researchers (Breen et al., 2007). Given that the RULA was originally developed as a postural screening of the predominantly seated and standing postures of adult workers, it may be that RULA is not sufficiently sensitive to accurately rate the unique and very different postures adopted by the child in the home. "
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    ABSTRACT: Maintaining the musculoskeletal health of children using mobile information and communication technologies (ICT) at home presents a challenge. The physical environment influences postures during ICT use and can contribute to musculoskeletal complaints. Few studies have assessed postures of children using ICT in home environments. The present study investigated the Rapid Upper Limb Assessment (RULA) scores determined by 16 novice and 16 experienced raters. Each rater viewed 11 videotaped scenarios of a child using two types of mobile ICT at home. The Grand Scores and Action Levels determined by study participants were compared to those of an ergonomist experienced in postural assessment. All postures assessed were rated with an Action Level of 2 or above; representing a postural risk that required further investigation and/or intervention. The sensitivity of RULA to assess some of the unconventional postures adopted by children in the home is questioned. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd and The Ergonomics Society. All rights reserved.
    Applied Ergonomics 11/2015; 51:189-198. DOI:10.1016/j.apergo.2015.04.003 · 2.02 Impact Factor
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    • "The above results are due to the mismatch problems of school furniture to students' body dimensions. They can develop musculoskeletal disorder and back pain problems if mismatch occurred.[2] [9]. "
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    ABSTRACT: School furniture was known to be among main contributor of students' back pain and bad postures. However, most studies focused only on the furniture in classroom compared to other facilities in school. Therefore, this study took the initiative to assess students' working postures in school workshop. The objective of this study was to evaluate postural stress of students using RULA method in CATIA. Actual working process was recorded and tasks performed were translated into human model for ergonomic analysis. This evaluation was done in CAD environment via Human Activity Analysis. Result showed the male students have a higher average RULA score compared to the female students. This study discovered that the current workstation was unsuitable for both genders. Both genders have an average scores of more than 5, which indicated changes are required soon. This paper also presented a recommended design of a workstation to reduce musculoskeletal disorder (MSD) symptom and contribute to total back pain prevention for growing adolescents.
    12/2013; 10:8. DOI:10.4028/
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    • "Among young computer users, Breen et al. [20] investigated discomfort and posture while using computers in a small sample of 68 schoolchildren (mean age 9.5 years), finding that 16% of the children reported pain, mostly in the neck or back region, at the beginning and end of a computer session. Pain intensity increased during the session [20]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Musculoskeletal symptoms among adolescents are related to the time spent using a computer, but little is known about the seriousness of the symptoms or how much they affect everyday life. The purpose of the present study was to examine the intensity of musculoskeletal pain and level of inconvenience to everyday life, in relation to time spent using a computer. In a survey, 436 school children (12 to 13 and 15 to 16 years of age), answered a questionnaire on musculoskeletal and computer-associated musculoskeletal symptoms in neck-shoulder, low back, head, eyes, hands, and fingers or wrists. Pain intensity (computer-associated symptoms) and inconvenience to everyday life (musculoskeletal symptoms) were measured using a visual analogue scale. Based on the frequency and intensity, three categories were formed to classify pain at each anatomic site: none, mild, and moderate/severe. The association with time spent using the computer was analyzed by multinomial logistic regression. Moderate/severe pain intensity was most often reported in the neck-shoulders (21%); head (20%); and eyes (14%); and moderate/severe inconvenience to everyday life was most often reported due to head (29%), neck-shoulders (21%), and low back (16%) pain. Compared with those using the computer less than 3.6 hours/week, computer use of ≥ 14 hours/week, was associated with moderate/severe increase in computer-associated musculoskeletal pain at all anatomic sites (odds ratio [OR] = 2.9-4.4), and moderate/severe inconvenience to everyday life due to low back (OR = 2.5) and head (OR = 2.0) pain. Musculoskeletal symptoms causing moderate/severe pain and inconvenience to everyday life are common among adolescent computer users. Daily computer use of 2 hours or more increases the risk for pain at most anatomic sites.
    BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 03/2012; 13(1):41. DOI:10.1186/1471-2474-13-41 · 1.72 Impact Factor
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