Navigation Links
Middle-school students educate community on proper computer posture

Move over, boy bands of Americathere's a new group in town. Four middle-school students from Carmel Valley Middle School in San Diego, California, entered The Christopher Columbus Awards Competition, a science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) program that challenges middle-school students to identify a community problem and solve it using science and technology. Taking a cue from the popular group the Backstreet Boys, the students call themselves the Back Straight Boys. The Boys took first place nationally and are presenting their study at the upcoming Human Factors and Ergonomics Society 55th Annual Meeting at the Red Rock Hotel in Las Vegas.

After experiencing firsthand the discomfort that computer use can cause, Sean Colford, Ethan Epstein, Brandon Loye, and Michael Walsh, now in their freshman year at Canyon Crest Academy in San Diego, decided to study improper posture at computer workstations and the consequent musculoskeletal problems among children and adults in classrooms and offices.

"We noticed that at school, all the computer workstations were the same size, but Ethan and I had a fifteen-inch difference in height," said Loye. "I had to hunch my back to see the monitor, and Ethan had to sit on his legs. This caused us discomfort, and we thought we could do something about it."

The Boys conducted preliminary human factors/ergonomics research to determine the scope of their community's improper posture problem by evaluating local employees and students. "We found this problem to be ever present in our schools, the workplace and even our homes," reported Ethan. They found that 80% of office workers and 75% of students sat at their computer workstations with incorrect posture. Based on these findings, the boys developed and tested their unique invention, the "Posture Pad," an ergonomically designed seat pad that vibrates or emits a tone when the user sits incorrectly.

The Boys received a $25,000 grant to turn their idea into reality. Working in collaboration with students at the University of California, San Diego, the team further developed the Pad prototype. They are currently working on a pilot project with mentor Karen Jacobs, PhD, at Boston University to test its effectiveness.

"Our grant money has been used not only to further develop our prototype, but to do a lot of education about ergonomics and posture to kids, teachers, and families in our communities," said Colford.

The contest and ensuing pilot project have become an exciting opportunity for the Boys and their classmates to learn about the human factors/ergonomics discipline. "I learned that I really liked problem solving from this project," said Michael Walsh. "No matter what type of problem that came up, it was fun to find solutions."


Contact: Lois Smith
Human Factors and Ergonomics Society

Related biology news :

1. Grant funds science career days for Philadelphia public school students
2. Environmental engineering students and faculty study Passaic River pollution
3. OGI awards summer research fellowships to 7 Ontario students
4. Tufts graduate students receive $10,000 prizes
5. Stevens biomedical engineering students fight hypothermia on the battlefield
6. Graduate marine science students head to the Mediterranean Sea
7. Fellowship to UC Riverside botanist encourages Hispanic students to take up research
8. Rice bioengineering students invention may help diagnose painful eye condition
9. Phage hunting students publish in PLoS ONE
10. Ben-Gurion University students develop thought-controlled, hands-free computer for the disabled
11. Engineering students win International Environmental Design Contest
Post Your Comments:
(Date:10/29/2015)... 29, 2015  Rubicon Genomics, Inc., today announced ... of its DNA library preparation products, including the ... ThruPLEX Plasma-seq kit. ThruPLEX Plasma-seq has been optimized ... NGS libraries for liquid biopsies--the analysis of cell-free ... applications in cancer and other conditions. Eurofins Scientific ...
(Date:10/29/2015)... NXTD ) ("NXT-ID" or ... the growing mobile commerce market and creator of ... leading marketplace to discover and buy innovative technology ... on StackSocial for this holiday season.   ... a biometric authentication company focused on the growing ...
(Date:10/27/2015)... NEW YORK , Oct. 27, 2015 ... the major issues of concern for various industry verticals ... This is due to the growing demand for secure ... practices in various ,sectors, such as hacking of bank ... concerns for electronic equipment such as PC,s, laptops, and ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/24/2015)... ... November 24, 2015 , ... The United States Golf Association ... 2016 USGA Green Section Award. Presented annually since 1961, the USGA Green Section Award ... work with turfgrass. , Clarke, of Iselin, N.J., is an extension specialist ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... , ... November 24, 2015 , ... ... healthy metabolism. But unless it is bound to proteins, copper is also toxic ... (NIH), researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) will conduct a systematic study of ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 2015 --> ... "Oligonucleotide Synthesis Market by Product & Services (Primer, Probe, ... DNA, RNAi), End-User (Research, Pharmaceutical & Biotech, Diagnostic Labs) ... market is expected to reach USD 1,918.6 Million by ... CAGR of 10.1% during the forecast period. ...
(Date:11/24/2015)... 2015 --> ... released by Transparency Market Research, the global non-invasive prenatal ... of 17.5% during the period between 2014 and 2022. ... Industry Analysis, Size, Volume, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast ... market to reach a valuation of US$2.38 bn by ...
Breaking Biology Technology: