Report from the ies working group on ergonomics in schools

Report from the IES working group on Ergonomics in Schools
The XVth Triennial Congress of the International Ergonomics Association
“Ergonomics in the Digital Age”
August 24 – 29, 2003
Seoul, Korea.
Welcome Ceremony
A welcome reception for delegates was held on Sunday 24th August at which we were treated to delicious food including traditional kimchi and a wide variety of vegetables, seafood and meat. Entertainment was provided by Kim Duk – Soo’s “Samul Nori” a traditional rhythmic percussion quartet that was enjoyed by all. Opening Ceremony
The opening ceremony on Monday 25th August commenced with a congratulatory speech by the Mayor of Seoul Metropolitan City and a keynote speech by Myung Sung Lee, CTO of SK Telecom. Waldemar Karwowski then delivered the IEA Presidential address followed by an IEA awards ceremony. To conclude the opening session, Professor Gui In Kim gave a performance of oriental painting. She demonstrated some of the techniques used in oriental painting with particular emphasis on the brush strokes. It was a most entertaining and Scientific Programme
There were 4 sessions on Ergonomics for Children and Educational Environments (ECEE) during which delegates presented 17 papers. USA, Canada, New Zealand, Australia, Finland, UK, Japan, and Ireland were represented in the paper presentations. Some of the topics that were presented were: Anthropometric measurements of school children Physical problems associated with computer use in school Future generations dealing with current levels of computer exposure. Site visit
A site visit was arranged to see Seoul National University Elementary School. On arrival we were introduced to the principal and some of his staff. It was a normal working day for the school therefore most of the staff were in the classrooms teaching at the time. We discussed the school with the principal with the help of an interpreter. We were served Ginseng tea and traditional biscuits. After tea, we were given a guided tour of the school where we were permitted to observe the normal workings of Children at Seoul National University School IEA Technical Committee on Ergonomics for Children and Educational
A meeting of the IEA technical committee on Ergonomics for Children and Educational Environments was held. I attended this meeting where future plans for the group were discussed. There was a general consensus that establishing guidelines for teachers, children and parents is a priority of the group. There was also concern expressed about the fact that there is not much scientific evidence available upon which to base the guidelines. It was agreed to establish guidelines for now, in the knowledge that they will be reviewed as evidence emerges. Working groups were set Conclusion
Overall this was a very worthwhile conference covering a wide range of topics and providing the chance to gain some insight into Korean education, culture and life. The conference was well organised but tended to have too many simultaneous sessions (usually 18). Attendance at the conference proved to be an excellent opportunity to discuss issues about ergonomics in schools with other interested researchers from around the world both at conference sessions and at social events. Conference delegates and school staff on the site visit



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