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

ABSTRACT 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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    • "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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    • "In the pre-intervention phase of this study only 10% of the sample was in Action Level 2, with the majority in Action Level 3. However, 91% were in Action Level 2 at the post-intervention stage which although is still not in the 'acceptable' range is a significant improvement on the pre-intervention stage and is also considerably better than the findings reported by Oates et al. (1998) and Breen et al. (2007). RULA assessments were made at three points in time during the computer class and therefore do not capture the posture of the child all of the time. "
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    ABSTRACT: This study investigated the effect of a school-based ergonomic intervention on childrens’ posture and discomfort while using computers using a pre/post test study design. The sample comprised 23 children age 9 and 10 years. Posture was assessed with Rapid Upper Limb Assessment (RULA) and a workstation assessment was completed using a Visual Display Unit (VDU) checklist. Self reported discomfort was also recorded at the beginning and end of the computer class. Following an ergonomic intervention that included education of the children and workstation changes, the outcome measures were repeated. There was a positive response to the intervention with significant changes between the pre-intervention and post-intervention scores for posture (p = 0.00) and workstation (p = 0.00). The change in discomfort scores from beginning to end of the computer class between the pre-intervention class and the post-intervention class was also significant (p = 0.00). The study highlights the need for continuing concern about the physical effects of children’s computer use and the implications of school-based interventions.
    Computers & Education 08/2010; 55(1-55):276-284. DOI:10.1016/j.compedu.2010.01.013 · 2.56 Impact Factor
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