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Educação e Pesquisa

Print version ISSN 1517-9702On-line version ISSN 1678-4634


ROCHA, Lys Esther; CASAROTTO, Raquel Aparecida  and  SZNELWAR, Laerte. Ergonomics and the use of computers: a study with primary and secondary in state of São Paulo. Educ. Pesqui. [online]. 2003, vol.29, n.1, pp.79-87. ISSN 1517-9702.

The use of computers as a teaching tool is becoming disseminated in education. The present study has as its purpose to investigate how computers are being used in schools within the metropolitan area of São Paulo, evaluating the level of ergonomic issues considered when introducing this tool. Ergonomics comprise the collection of scientific knowledge to ensure the comfort, safety, and efficacy of products. The work included 126 schools distributed as follows: 37 primary schools (1st to 4th year) with 21,824 students; 49 primary schools (5th to 8th year) with 29,851 students; and 40 secondary schools with 31,516 students. Most schools have declared to use computers as an auxiliary tool in their syllabuses since 1995. The use of computers in the 5th to 8th year of schooling was predominant in private schools, with an average of two to three students per computer, and an average duration of classes of up to 1h59min per week. The majority of tables and chairs installed in computer classrooms at schools lack height adjustments to fit the anthropometric characteristics of pupils. Thirty percent of schools supplied computer ergonomics guidelines. In most of the schools no complaints were observed regarding students' visual or muscular discomfort during the use of computers. This fact can be related to the small number of hours of use. We have concluded that the acquisition of furniture and equipment for computer classrooms should include consulting anthropometric databases and students' perception of comfort.

Keywords : Computing; Schools; Computers; Ergonomics.

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