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Factors that may influence the postural health of schoolchildren (K-12)


Ergonomic seating and proper positioning during the performance of activities is a major focus in the adult workplace. This focus, however, is typically ignored in classrooms where our youngest workers spend the majority of their time. A review of the literature was done to determine the effects of school furniture design on the postural health of schoolchildren (K-12). The review indicated that the adjustability of school furniture is an important design feature if children are to have equal educational opportunity, increased comfort, and decreased incidences of musculoskeletal symptoms. The effectiveness of ergonomic school furniture on schoolchildren has been demonstrated in only one study reviewed in this paper. The other studies are reviewed in an effort to identify: (1) the variation of anthropometric measures of children; (2) the performance of activities exposing children to various postures; and (3) the physical design features of school furniture as three factors which influence the postural health of schoolchildren.