Poster Title

Say Yes to the Desk

Grade Level at Time of Presentation

Secondary School

Institution

Project Lead The Way - Kentucky

KY House District #

85

KY Senate District #

15

Abstract

In a normal school day, students spend roughly 8 hours a day sitting. Since the modern school desk’s introduction in the 1970’s, little to no innovation has happened. Recent studies have found that students who spend upward of 6 hours a day in a desk, can suffer from severe conditions such as lack of blood circulation and an increase of pressure on the spinal cord. Long term pressure can cause abnormal spine alignment (scoliosis), Injury in the spine, Spinal tumors, Certain Bone diseases, Rheumatoid arthritis, and infections. Our goal is to solve problems created by the average school desk to increase learning and overall health in students. (Said, Day, L. How Seating Ergonomics Affect Learning. https://smithsystem.com, 2014.)3/5 students on a national survey report problems due to their sitting circumstances. We created a survey in order to narrow down where students felt the most inconvenienced in their desks. The results were: 11/32 students say the chair needs to be changed, 19/32 say it is all around uncomfortable, and 22/32 say that the desk needs to be bigger. The objective in this scenario is to make the average school desk a more compatible fit for a learning environment. Through the use of surveys and personal interviews we have narrowed down our investigation to the following areas: Seat of desk, Back of desk, and the incline that the back of the seat rests at. We have begun to build our prototype to counteract these problems. We plan to change the angle of ascent that the seat and back connect at to decrease pressure on the spinal cord, making an adjustable desk to fit to different size students, and making an overall better quality desk so that it can last longer and therefore save money. Our design will decrease spinal pressure by limiting the downward force of gravity on the spine due to an increase of force in the horizontal direction and decrease in the vertical direction. We will measure the pressure with a pressure plate on the coccyx to see if our desk causes a decrease. We can measure blood circulation using the ankle brachial index to see if it results in a decrease.

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Say Yes to the Desk

In a normal school day, students spend roughly 8 hours a day sitting. Since the modern school desk’s introduction in the 1970’s, little to no innovation has happened. Recent studies have found that students who spend upward of 6 hours a day in a desk, can suffer from severe conditions such as lack of blood circulation and an increase of pressure on the spinal cord. Long term pressure can cause abnormal spine alignment (scoliosis), Injury in the spine, Spinal tumors, Certain Bone diseases, Rheumatoid arthritis, and infections. Our goal is to solve problems created by the average school desk to increase learning and overall health in students. (Said, Day, L. How Seating Ergonomics Affect Learning. https://smithsystem.com, 2014.)3/5 students on a national survey report problems due to their sitting circumstances. We created a survey in order to narrow down where students felt the most inconvenienced in their desks. The results were: 11/32 students say the chair needs to be changed, 19/32 say it is all around uncomfortable, and 22/32 say that the desk needs to be bigger. The objective in this scenario is to make the average school desk a more compatible fit for a learning environment. Through the use of surveys and personal interviews we have narrowed down our investigation to the following areas: Seat of desk, Back of desk, and the incline that the back of the seat rests at. We have begun to build our prototype to counteract these problems. We plan to change the angle of ascent that the seat and back connect at to decrease pressure on the spinal cord, making an adjustable desk to fit to different size students, and making an overall better quality desk so that it can last longer and therefore save money. Our design will decrease spinal pressure by limiting the downward force of gravity on the spine due to an increase of force in the horizontal direction and decrease in the vertical direction. We will measure the pressure with a pressure plate on the coccyx to see if our desk causes a decrease. We can measure blood circulation using the ankle brachial index to see if it results in a decrease.