Why Is Ergonomics Important?
This article has been written by Lydia McClelland, a VCE French, Music Theory, Literature & VCE English Tutor at Learnmate. If you’re interested in private tutoring from Lydia then please check out her page here.
Defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary, ‘ergonomics’ is:
1) an applied science concerned with designing and arranging things people use so that the people and things interact more efficiently and safely.
2) the design characteristic of an object resulting especially from the application of the science of ergonomics.
Okay. But what does all of that mean in practical terms?
Usually, ergonomics in everyday use refers to the process of designing workplaces and systems so that they are most comfortable and efficient for the users.
You might be most familiar with the idea of ergonomics being applied to a comfy chair or desk, or to a workplace. So how is ergonomics relevant to students?
You may associate ergonomics with workers, but the principle is just as important for students. Let’s explore some ways that you can implement ergonomic solutions in study spaces, solutions which will make you more comfortable and will actually aid concentration.
Use an ergonomic chair and desk
These days, students spend vast swathes of time sitting at their computers, which makes it essential that their workstation is comfortable and beneficial. Avoid chairs or desks which restrict movement – sitting still for long periods of time can be harmful. However, if the chairs or desks move too much, they may create distractions. Great desks and chairs can be adjusted to different sizes and are customizable, which is important for growing children.
Be careful not to overload backpacks
School backpacks are generally built to carry a lot of different materials: textbooks, musical instruments, lunch and more. But it’s dangerous to overload your backpack, so if this is an issue, maybe try packing a bit lighter, or leaving those textbooks at school.
Incorporate breaks and movement into study
Ergonomics does not simply mean buying expensive desks and chairs. It’s important to your health that you move around every day – even the fanciest desk chair is not supposed to be sat on for hours and hours upon end. Make sure you take a break around every hour if you’re studying hard, and get up to have a walk or run.
These days, computer usage is more and more a part of everyday life, including for students. Some ways you can apply ergonomics to computer usage is to make sure the keyboard allows the wrists to be in a healthy position while typing, to make sure the computer, mouse and keyboard are at a good height, and potentially to invest in a footrest to improve circulation in the legs.
If you loved this article, you will LOVE all of our other articles, such as: How to Develop Problem-Solving Skills in Students, How to Find a Good Maths Tutor for Your Child and Organisation Tips and Techniques for High School Students.
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