Teachers - What to Do
Students will spend an increasing amount of time using computers all through their educational years. They will benefit greatly from learning good workstation setup skills and work habits in their childhood to reduce the risks of developing computer-related injury as adults.
Most schools cannot afford special furniture for their computers. Computer workstations are often set up using any types of tables and chairs available. Usually the tables and chairs are of one standard size and not adjustable.
First grader | Fifth grader
Elementary school students vary greatly in size, making it a challenge to provide adjustability to fit everybody comfortably.
It is a common belief that special ergonomic equipment is required to provide adjustability. You can create the best ergonomic setup on a non-existing or very small budget. Our goal is to make students as comfortable as possible and make it easy for them to develop good work habits. If students learn, at an early age, how to make a workstation fit them, they will make similar adjustments later in life.
What to do:
Help your students use the following postures:
Take a look at the "What to do at your Computer Workstation" poster. To print the poster, set your printer's output orientation to "landscape" and print it out.
As you already know, most workstations do not fit a students as well as in the picture above. Here is an example of some no-cost or low-cost solutions that helped one teacher show a student what to do at a workstation:
What to do: Neck slightly bent. Head almost straight.
How to do it: A classroom-made document holder keeps the paper the student is typing from at a good distance and height.
What to do: Eyes level with text on monitor. Elbows level with the keyboard.
How to do it: Find some type of "booster seat"
To position herself at the right height, this student decided to sit on an old discarded book (for a short time!).
What to do: Feet supported.
How to do it: A classroom-made footrest fashioned from a discarded three-ring binder.
Many examples on How to do it are presented in the next section.