Sunday, April 10, 2016

The 1:1 Laptop Program: Weapons of Mass Ergonomic Disaster in Baltimore County

These pictures are from videos put out by Baltimore County Schools.
They show children using screens on classes. Does this seem healthy to you?
See these pictures showing eye to computer screen in our schools. Long gone are the days of eye to eye contact it seems. Is this really what we want for our children? 
Children with necks bent over laptops staring at screens, headsets on and unaware of the people near them. 

Children are hunched over. Is this good for their posture? 


Young boy with wireless laptop on his lap. 
Look how close the kids eyes are to the screens. Look how they are hunched over. 
Children with earphones. How will this effect their hearing? 
More laptops on lap in positions that are not good for the back and neck. 
These images are from Baltimore County's videos. We are very concerned that the county and state are not considering the physical implications of such postures. See below.




See this image above online at The US Department of Labor website. 


What does the Occupational Safety and Health Association (OSHA) say? 
OSHA has created a workplace safety checklist. Does your school make the grade?  Read it here. 

Here is OSHA's Checklist. We filled it out based on what we saw in these videos. 

  1. WORKING POSTURES - The workstation is designed or arranged for doing computer tasks so it allows your...
    1. Head and neck to be upright, or in-line with the torso (not bent down/back). If "no" refer to MonitorsChairs and Work Surfaces.
      •  
    2. Head, neck, and trunk to face forward (not twisted). If "no" refer to Monitors or Chairs.
      •  
    3. Trunk to be perpendicular to floor (may lean back into backrest but not forward). If "no" refer to Chairs or Monitors.
      •  
    4. Shoulders and upper arms to be in-line with the torso, generally about perpendicular to the floor and relaxed (not elevated or stretched forward). If "no" refer to Chairs.
      •  
    5. Upper arms and elbows to be close to the body (not extended outward). If "no" refer to ChairsWork SurfacesKeyboards, and Pointers.
      •  
    6. Forearms, wrists, and hands to be straight and in-line (forearm at about 90 degrees to the upper arm). If "no" refer to ChairsKeyboardsPointers.
      •  
    7. Wrists and hands to be straight (not bent up/down or sideways toward the little finger). If "no" refer to Keyboards, or Pointers.
      •  
    8. Thighs to be parallel to the floor and the lower legs to be perpendicular to floor (thighs may be slightly elevated above knees). If "no" refer to Chairs or Work Surfaces.
      •  
    9. Feet rest flat on the floor or are supported by a stable footrest. If "no" refer to ChairsWork Surfaces.
      •  
  2. Checklists SEATING - Consider these points when evaluating the chair...
    1. Backrest provides support for your lower back (lumbar area).
      •  
    2. Seat width and depth accommodate the specific user (seat pan not too big/small).
      •  
    3. Seat front does not press against the back of your knees and lower legs (seat pan not too long).
      •  
    4. Seat has cushioning and is rounded with a "waterfall" front (no sharp edge).
      •  
    5. Armrests, if used, support both forearms while you perform computer tasks and they do not interfere with movement.
      •  
    "No" answers to any of these questions should prompt a review of Chairs.
    Sounds like we need to review the chairs. 
  3. Checklists KEYBOARD/INPUT DEVICE - Consider these points when evaluating the keyboard or pointing device. The keyboard/input device is designed or arranged for doing computer tasks so the...
    1. Keyboard/input device platform(s) is stable and large enough to hold a keyboard and an input device.
      •  
    2. Input device (mouse or trackball) is located right next to your keyboard so it can be operated without reaching.
      •  
    3. Input device is easy to activate and the shape/size fits your hand (not too big/small).
      •  
    4. Wrists and hands do not rest on sharp or hard edges.
      •  
    5. There are no wrist rests, maybe the school should get them? 
      "No" answers to any of these questions should prompt a review of KeyboardsPointers, or Wrist Rests.
    1. Checklists MONITOR - Consider these points when evaluating the monitor. The monitor is designed or arranged for computer tasks so the...
      1. Top of the screen is at or below eye level so you can read it without bending your head or neck down/back.
        •  
      2. User with bifocals/trifocals can read the screen without bending the head or neck backward.
        •  
      3. Monitor distance allows you to read the screen without leaning your head, neck or trunk forward/backward.
        •  
      4. Monitor position is directly in front of you so you don't have to twist your head or neck.
        •  
      5. Glare (for example, from windows, lights) is not reflected on your screen which can cause you to assume an awkward posture to clearly see information on your screen.
        •  
      "No" answers to any of these questions should prompt a review of Monitors or Lighting/Glare.
      Total Fail. The kids are bending over leaning in the whole time. 


      Children are hunched over. Is this good for their posture? 


      Young boy with wireless laptop on his lap. 



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