Benefits of laptop computer ergonomics education to graduate students


Laptop computers are used more often than desktop computers, especially among graduate students. Many common laptop habits can have severe physiological effects on the user ranging from eye strain, poor posture, upper extremity pain, and overuse injuries. Thus, it is important to educate students on the best ergonomic position to use laptops. This study investigates the efficacy of a laptop ergonomic education session and its effects on graduate students’ knowledge and behaviors regarding proper laptop use. A convenience sample of control and experimental groups was used and consisted of 83 occupational therapy (OT), 63 physical therapy (PT), and 26 nurse anesthesia (NA) graduate students. The sample size was 172, with 94 graduate students in the control group and 78 graduate students in the experimental. All study participants completed an initial ergonomics questionnaire. The experimental group was given an ergonomics education session following the questionnaire. Approximately 4 weeks after both groups completed the initial questionnaire; a follow up questionnaire was administered. Results showed that subjects demonstrated a statistically significant improvement in ergonomics knowledge after they completed the ergonomic educational session. Some participants reported making adaptations to laptop positioning and equipment use following the educational session. Thus, participating in ergonomic education can positively influence awareness of body mechanics relative to laptop workstation design.

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Bowman, P. , Braswell, K. , Cohen, J. , Funke, J. , Landon, H. , Martinez, P. and Mossbarger, J. (2014) Benefits of laptop computer ergonomics education to graduate students. Open Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation, 2, 25-32. doi: 10.4236/ojtr.2014.21006.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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