A state-wide survey of South Australian secondary schools to determine the current emphasis on ergonomics and computer use

Janet Sawyer, Joy Penman

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This study investigated the pattern of teaching of healthy computing skills to high school students in South Australia. A survey approach was used to collect data, specifically to determine the emphasis placed by schools on ergonomics that relate to computer use. Participating schools were recruited through the Department for Education and Child Development offices.
A 17-item questionnaire was administered to 15 regional and 15 city-based,
public-sector high schools. The questionnaire covered areas including the
awareness of the principles of ergonomics, existence of a written policy on
procedures relating to ergonomics and computer use, inclusion of content in the
curriculum relating to ergonomics, scale of priority placed on ergonomics and
computer use, and reports of computer-related complaints of pain or discomfort.
Responses were received from ten (67%) regional and five (33%) city/metropolitan South Australian high schools. The highlights of the survey were: 93% of those surveyed were aware about ergonomics and computer use, 73% did not have a written policy on procedures related to ergonomics and computer use; 60% replied that their curriculum did include content in relation to ergonomics and computer use, 66% thought ergonomic principles relating to computer use were not being given sufficient priority in their school, and 73% received no reports of computer-related complaints of pain or discomfort. The implications of the study in relation to computer practice and educational preparation of school students will be discussed in the paper.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-35
Number of pages17
JournalAustralian and International Journal of Rural Education
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes

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