The International Ergonomics Association has a new technical committee, Ergonomics for Children and Educational Environments. The first meeting was held in conjunction with the annual meeting of the International Society for Occupational Ergonomics and Safety in June.
The Committee Mission states:
The purpose of the Ergonomics for Children and Educational Environments Technical Committee is to provide a forum for the international exchange of scientific and technical ergonomics information related to children and educational environments. The Committee promotes professional and public awareness of ergonomics related to children of all abilities in all aspects of their lives and the application of ergonomics in all educational environments.
The objectives of the Committee are to prevent or reduce the risks of developing musculoskeletal and vision disorders and to promote the beneficial effects of educational computing through:
- Serving as a network for the interchange between researchers, practitioners, school administrators, teachers, parents, health professionals, architects, designers, and manufacturers of furnishings, education supplies, software and equipment;
- Fostering professional initiatives for the International Ergonomics Association to promote ergonomics in schools throughout the world;
- Advocating ergonomics education for children, parents, teachers, librarians and health professionals;
- Developing materials for educational institutions as well as parents, teachers, librarians, and health professionals about ergonomics specifically adapted to children’s postural and visual needs;
- Promoting ergonomics education for teachers and students in education information technology and design technology projects;
- Compiling, presenting, and making readily accessible, research related to ergonomics for children and educational environments;
- Identifying further research needs and encouraging international research collaboration;
- Encouraging collection and exchange of health and comfort data on incidence or prevalence of computer-related musculoskeletal and vision complaints among children;
- Advancing ergonomics as a major consideration in the design phase of learning environments;
- Defining strategies to inexpensively retrofit or redesign existing furniture used in computer environments at home, and in schools, libraries, children’s museums and other educational environments;
- Advocating that a portion of major funding for information technology should be earmarked for ergonomics; and
- Promoting the development of ergonomic design guidelines (or codes of practice) for software, hardware, furniture, classrooms, computer rooms, school libraries and other educational environments.
For more information about the IEA visit http://www.iea.cc