Poor Ergonomics: An Unnecessary Classroom Distraction

Posted by Jerry Doll on Tue, Jul, 31, 2012 @ 09:07 AM

Ergonomics is important in any office or classroom settingEducators have a difficult enough time engaging students in a high-tech world with short attention spans. Add poor ergonomics to the mix and their job becomes even harder. When students are not comfortable, they have a more difficult time focusing on the lessons at hand. Implementing ergonomic classroom furniture solutions can help both teachers and students make the most of their classroom experience.

Effects of poor ergonomics in the classroom

Numerous studies have shown that poor ergonomics can have a negative impact on students. Some of the possible effects include:

  • Physical effects: Every body is different, but in many cases, all classroom chairs are the same. This inability to make adjustments based on the shape and size of the student can result in muscle pain in the back and neck. Inappropriately sized desks can cause wrist and shoulder discomfort, and poor lighting or placement of whiteboards and computer screens can cause eye strain in students.
  • Cognitive effects: Academic performance can be impacted by these negative physical effects, particularly when students have a difficult time seeing the lessons presented by the instructor. Acoustics also play a role in ergonomics; when students cannot hear the teacher or other students well, their academic performance may suffer. Studies have shown that students also believe that ergonomics plays a role in their academic success.
  • Behavioral effects: Poor ergonomics in the classroom can lead to frustration and a lack of motivation. This may not only affect academic performance, but may cause some students to act out, disrupting the instructor and other students.

Solutions to poor ergonomics in the classroom

Fortunately, classroom furniture has come a long way in recent years. Some of the features that allow teachers and students to be more productive include:

  • Adjustable furniture: One-size-fits-all furniture is often not suitable for adults, but it can be particularly uncomfortable for growing children. If all desks are at the same height and angle, some students may suffer from neck or wrist strain as a result. Classroom tables that allow adjustable height and angle settings make it easier for all students to avoid poor ergonomics.
  • Desktops with integrated computers: In addition to making learning more dynamic for students, integrated computer screens also allow them to see lessons and other presentations better. This helps reduce eye strain and also ensures that each student can fully see and hear the material being presented. New innovative desktops with the ability to hide monitors when not in use allow teachers to maintain control and make it easier for students to focus on the instructor. Another option for integrated computer desks puts the screen below the desktop so students can view it at a more ergonomically favorable angle. This solution also keeps the desktop clear for books and papers whether the computer is in use or not.
  • Adjustable seating: One of the biggest complaints that students have is uncomfortable seating. Again, a one-size-fits-all solution simply does not work in an educational environment, particularly when students must sit in the same chair for hours at a time. 

Nova Solutions is committed to providing effective solutions to poor ergonomics in the classroom. From desktops with integrated computers to intelligently designed lecterns, our products allow educators to be more effective. Contact us today to learn more about ergonomic classroom furniture for your school.

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Topics: poor ergonomics, classroom distraction, ergonomics, classroom furniture