May 23rd, 2003

Two School House Ergonomics Issues Get a Nod

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Backpacks, books, lunches, changes of clothes: school kids carry a lot of extra baggage these days. But next year some students will get a slight reprieve from their loads.

Earlier this month, New Jersey governor James McGreevey signed a bill to allow for the creation of an Ergonomics in Education Study Commission to look at how the state’s schoolhouses stack up ergonomically as well as to determine the best way to implement ergonomics education into New Jersey’s public schools.

The commission, which will have six months to review ergonomics in relationship to New Jersey’s schools, will consist of a group of educators, school administrators, medical professionals, ergonomists and researchers, all to be appointed by the governor. During the course of the commission’s tenure, the group will review equipment and furniture design standards and education programs, particularly in regard to computing behavior, and offer recommendations based on their observations.

At the same time, Washington County, Utah middle schoolers will no longer have to haul around heavy backpacks once they arrive at school. In a recent meeting, the county’s school board voted to install hooks as a compromise after parents complained that the lack of lockers caused the children back pain and stress.

Sources: Wired News; The Spectrum



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