Flat screen monitor arms that promise to revolutionise desk comfort have been backed by a new independent research report.
The Ellipta range from Hafele UK, was the subject of a study by Levent Caglar, senior ergonomist at
FIRA (Furniture Industry Research Association) and chairman of European Standards for School Furniture.
Wheatfield Junior School in St.Albans had Ellipta adjustable monitor arms fitted, with stunning results.
"There has been unanimous approval of the significant increase in work surface, brought about by the relocation of the hard drives to beneath the work surfaces," says the ICT Suite Changes report.
"As children always have to share a computer in the suite, they also share their work space. Pairs of children now have the facility to make better use of books and other resources, which was previously difficult or impossible in lessons.
"Clear, uncluttered space, when children are working, also enables them to learn more effectively, with less to distract them. It is also beneficial for them to have an improved sense of personal organisation. In terms of quality if learning, this has been a positive change and the impact has been significant."
The report goes on to recommend installation of Ellipta arms, or similar, into schools across the country.
"With every child spending at least 90 minutes in the suite each week, it is very important that they have the option to make individual adjustments to their IT set-up," the report continues.
"Not only does this impact on their short term learning, but when working on a computer at other times, in other locations, we hope the good habits they form will be transferred. As a result of the changes made to date, with further improvements to come, consistently good posture and a greater ability to focus on learning, are significantly more likely to be a reality now, than previously."
There was a 60 per cent increase in usable space on the worktops for other work and flexibility in placing keyboards and mouse, whilst nearly 80 per cent of pupils found it easier to position their keyboard and the mouse more comfortably for them due to the extra space that had been created.
The Wheatfields Junior School headmaster, Mr Lyndon Evans, added: "Getting the height of the monitors in relation to children’s eye heights improved their postures in terms of improved neck and shoulder comfort, clearly reducing the likelihood and onset of muscular skeletal disorder (MSD)."
This was a pilot study and a fuller, more detailed study has been recommended to investigate further improvements in health and academic achievement of children when working with computers in ICT suites planned, arranged and equipped with monitor arms and CPU holders.
Further information on ergonomic of school environments and furniture can be obtained from www.fira.co.uk. Further information on the products and dealers used in the study can be obtained from firstname.lastname@example.org.