Friday, September 14, 2007

Research Proposal 4 - My Studz

Factors Affecting the Health of Students in Relation to Ergonomics Computer Workstation Design

by : Calma, Larry , Guino-o, Angelo Carlo, Mejares, Jason
Tentative Defense Schedule: September 26, 2007, 10:00am
Panelist : Ms. Novie Joy Pelobello, MSIS and Mr. Exander Barrios, MIM

Background of the Study

Today, changes in technology, changes in the way we perform work and where and how we work are occurring at a rapid pace. Nowhere is the change more evident than in the use of computers. This new technology has brought on new demands for information as well as new and more sophisticated computing systems. Today, almost every one of us interacts with computers on a daily basis to create new things and ideas, to produce documents, to correspond with friends and associates, and to retrieve information. Along with the expanding use of technology have come reports about adverse health changes for computer users.

Ergonomics (or human factors) as defined in website is the application of scientific information concerning humans to the design of objects, systems and environment for human use (definition adopted by the International Ergonomics Association in 2007). Ergonomics is commonly thought of as how companies design tasks and work areas to maximize the efficiency and quality of their employees’ work. It came from the Greek words ergon meaning work and nomos natural laws, in which first entered the modern lexicon when Wojciech JastrzÄ™bowski used the word in his 1857 article. In other words, ergonomics is the field of study that deals with relationship between people and their working environment.

According to U.S. Department of Labor, the application of computer technology and the accompanying use of video display terminals (VDTs) are revolutionizing the workplaces of America. In 1984, only 25 percent of the US population used computers at work; in 1993, this increase to 45 percent and the number continues to grow. Along with this expanding use of VDTs have come reports of adverse health effects to VDT operators.

There’s a lot of informations gathered that show the proper computer workstation and proper posture is very important to avoid such injuries. In De La Salle University website gave us the idea of using the topic as an object for a social research since studies with computer ergonomics usually focuses on workstations and its users. We might as well make use of the students of the Institute of Computing of the University Southeastern Philippines, Obrero Campus as the target for this study. In relation with our study a certain website in Davao City specifically the Philippine Health Insurance Corporation gives us information about the IT Health Practices and Standards. The site also defines the meaning of ergonomics and the proper use of monitor, mouse, computer table and chair.

With the number of computers in classrooms increasing every day, many schools are beginning to institute ergonomics programs to show students, teachers, and parents how to reduce the risks of computer-related injuries. Many who use computer workstations may be unaware of situations that can make them vulnerable to injury. Poor typing posture can cause pain and other symptoms in your back, neck, shoulders, hands, wrists, and eyes. As we spend increasing amounts of time at our computer workstation, we need to be aware of how the design and arrangement of our equipment can affect our comfort, health, and productivity.

The researchers aim to achieve the primary objective of this study with its main topic beneficiary, the students from Institute of Computing. This study also wants to prove the different factors that will affect the health related problems of the students while working with the computer if ergonomics will not follow. The study focuses on the parameters within the Institute of Computing of the University of Southeastern Philippines-Obrero Campus, Davao City which is situated around the central business and residential district of Davao City. The period of the study shall cover one academic year 2007-2008; prescribe under the supervision of the University of Southeastern Philippines and the Commission on Higher Education memorandum and calendar of activities.

Statement of the Problem

The purpose of this study is to assess the workstation design of the computer laboratories of Institute of Computing and also to assess the health problems that may be acquired by the students related to the workstation design.
Specifically, the researchers attempted to answer the following questions:

    1. What is the level of conformity of

workstation design of the two computer

laboratories of Institute of Computing

in this university with regards to the

principles of ergonomics related to human

and machine interface in terms of:

1.1 Chair;

1.2 Desk;

1.3 Screen;

1.4 Keyboard;

1.5 Mouse;

1.6 Lighting;

1.7 Work Posture?



2. What are the health problems related to

workstation design of two computer

laboratories of the Institute of Computing

in the University of Southeastern

Philippines?

Objective of the Study

This study will examine the factors that may affect the health of computer users of the two computer laboratories while using the computer. It will also show the possible health problems that may be acquired by the students related to workstation design.
Specifically, the following are the objectives of the study.


   1. To assess the workstation design of the

computer laboratories of Institute of

Computing in this university with regards

to the principles of ergonomics related to

human and machine interface in terms of:

1.1 Chair;

1.2 Desk;

1.3 Screen;

1.4 Keyboard;

1.5 Mouse;

1.6 Ligting;

1.7 Work Posture.

2. To assess the health problems of the students

related to workstation design of two

computer laboratories of Institute of

Computing in the University of Southeastern

Philippines.

Hypotheses of the Study
    1. The workstation design of the two computer

laboratories of Institute of Computing in

this university do not follow the principles

of ergonomics related to human and machine

interface.

2. There is no health problems related to

workstation design of the two computer

laboratories of Institute of Computing in

the University of Southeastern Philippines.

Significance of the Study

This study is intended for the computer users, for the students of the University of Southeastern Philippines. In computer tasks there are certain conditions or risk factors that can contribute to the development of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) when computer uses are exposed frequently to these risk factors, or so for so long period of time. Thus, this study will benefit the students as well as the faculty in observing proper positioning and adjusting of computer workstation and appropriate posture in doing computer tasks and also the school administration who acts as the policy makers of the university since they are the ones to decide what is best for their subordinates.

1.School Admin/ Policy makers- These several group of people would take benefit on the study since if would be aware of the proper workstation ergonomics and if proven that the two IC laboratories does not abide these ergonomics principle. They can do something to diminish the improper practice of workstation setting. Through this, they are going to be a good example of excellent policy makers. Moreover, the rest could forestall further injuries and physical damage of the persons involve.

2.Faculty- the faculty members are also prone to the MSDs since they are also the one of the users of the computer lab. It is most likely useful for them to get some knowledge about the risk factors of incorrect computer ergonomics and some course of action to elude such jeopardy.

3.Students- the most common and the major beneficiary of this study are the Institute of Computing students. They are the ones who use the computer lab almost everyday. Through this study, we may find out whether they have and still experiencing some MSDs. In addition, with this study, we could give some inputs about this disorders and how to prevent or avoid it.

Theoretical/ Conceptual Framework

The conceptual framework of the study exemplifies the inputs, process, and outputs of the variables being used in this study. As shown in the figure:

Indicators

Managing and working with technology carries a greater impact in contributing health problems on people especially to the students of Institute of Computing. But what are the factors that contribute in acquiring health related problems of the students? And is there a method that we may apply to avoid this problem to the students?

Workstation Design of IC Laboratories is the main factor to have a result in our study. We will assess the two IC laboratories and see if there’s any factor that might caused for the health problems of the students.

Health Problem Factors is the reason why the students suffer from the weaknesses/illnesses while working with computer. If the workstation design is not properly follow the ergonomics principle, it carries a big impact to produced a big health related problems to the students who are frequently using computer.

1 comments:

Wouldn't the time duration of computer use be also essential in this study? I bet the max number of straight hours that a student can use the laboratory is 3hrs. Is it suffice to assess the health effect to these users?

How about the age of the users, should they be considered too?

Just curious.