Ergonomic RESCUE

Improve student & staff posture. Ergonomics is vital for OHS. Many schools are embracing laptop programs yet ignoring the opportunity to train students and staff in ergonomics. Learn more...

SCHOOLS around Australia are riding a worldwide wave of providing laptop computers to both staff and students. State and Federal Governments are also committing millions of dollars to ensure students and staff have access to technology. Yet it appears most are choosing to ignore the single biggest drawback of laptop computers. Neil Pierson owns Ergonomic RESCUE. He claims laptop computers are not designed for humans but rather convenience. He warns schools that “the idea of hinging a computer screen to a keyboard and making it portable sounds ideal, yet it has taken ergonomics back to the poor posture of the 1970’s.”

“Good computer posture is fairly simple” explains Mr Pierson. “An individual needs to raise their screen to a correct height and adjust their keyboard and mouse. Laptops however hinge the screen to the keyboard so remove this essential element of good posture.” With many school students now spending between 9% and 19% of their time on computers reports are indicating an increase in neck pain or discomfort. 

Ergonomic RESCUE has been providing laptop stands to over 400 corporations for several years. The idea is simple. The most popular portable metal stands raise the laptop’s screen to a correct height. Plugging in an external keyboard and mouse retains all the power and convenience of the laptop yet allows the user to adjust everything to suit their height.

Schools are starting to realise ergonomics is a problem. Children’s bones are still being formed until they are 18 or 19 years old. Poor posture at this age can have long term consequences. Over recent years many schools have fortunately addressed the need for ergonomic backpacks. Yet most school children spend more time on a computer than they do carrying their bags. 

Teachers and parents can be the worst role models when it comes to ergonomics claims Mr Pierson. He says “schools are an ideal place to learn about the benefits of good posture yet it starts with teachers. Many adults won’t change their bad habits until their physiotherapist orders them to. If schools and teachers can both train and model good posture the next generation may be able to avoid some of the long term issues.” 

One Sydney school addressing the issue of staff ergonomics is Covenant Christian School in Belrose. When staff were issued with new laptops at the beginning of the year they were offered a portable metal laptop stand. IT Manager Dave de Horne explained “given the reliance and widespread use of laptops we see it as vital that we take care of our staff by providing effective ergonomic options. The previous laptop stands were plastic and were prone to breakage so Ergonomic RESCUE was a great solution for the school.”

The worldwide wave of laptops for businesses and schools is expected to continue. Hopefully other schools will now start taking action and ensure laptop stands are being provided to both their students and staff.

For more details contact Ergonomic RESCUE