Sunday, March 08, 2009

A Trace of Information About Laptop Ergonomics

Applied ErgonomicsVolume 40, Issue 3, May 2009, Pages 404-409
University students’ notebook computer use

Karen Jacobsa, , , Peter Johnsonb, Jack Dennerleinc, Denise Petersond, Justin Kaufmane, Joshua Goldf, Sarah Williamsg, Nancy Richmondh, Stephanie Karbana, Emily Firna, Elizabeth Ansongd, Sarah Hudaka, Katherine Tungd, Victoria Halle, Karol Pencinai and Michael Pencinai
aBoston University, Sargent College, Department of Occupational Therapy, 635 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215, USA
bUniversity of Washington, School of Public Health and Community Medicine, Box 357230, Seattle, WA 98195-7230, USA
cHarvard University, School of Public Health, Landmark 404L, 665 Huntington Ave. Boston, MA 02115, USA
dBoston University, Sargent College, Department of Physical Therapy and Athletic Training, 635 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215, USA
eBoston University, College of Arts and Sciences, 725 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA
fBoston University, Metropolitan College, 755 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA
gBoston University, School of Education, 2 Sherborn Street, Boston, MA 02115, USA
hNortheastern University, Career Services, 360 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115, USA
iBoston University, School of Arts and Sciences, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, 704 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, MA 02215, USA

Recent evidence suggests that university students are self-reporting experiencing musculoskeletal discomfort with computer use similar to levels reported by adult workers. The objective of this study was to determine how university students use notebook computers and to determine what ergonomic strategies might be effective in reducing self-reported musculoskeletal discomfort in this population. Two hundred and eighty-nine university students randomly assigned to one of three towers by the university's Office of Housing participated in this study. The results of this investigation showed a significant reduction in self-reported notebook computer-related discomfort from pre- and post-survey in participants who received notebook computer accessories and in those who received accessories and participatory ergonomics training. A significant increase in post-survey rest breaks was seen. There was a significant correlation between self-reported computer usage and the amount measured using computer usage software (odometer). More research is needed however to determine the most effective ergonomics intervention for university students.
BrooklynDodger(s) comment: There are certainly enough authors on this paper, which seems to involve half the schools in Boston. Looks like a 3 arm study, where the two interventions reduced discomfort. Looks like even the survey without the invervention changed behavior.

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