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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/13612

Title: Evaluating the Compatibility of School Furniture and Anthropometry of Kindergarten and Class One (1) School Children in the Asokore Mampong Municipality
Authors: Andoh Mensah, Claudia
Newton, Sam
Keywords: School Furniture,
Anthropometry of Kindergarten,
Class One School Children,
Asokore Mampong Municipality
Issue Date: 25-Mar-2021
Abstract: School children spend over 80% of their school time in a seated position. However, ergonomic principles are conservatively applied on adult work places to ensure safety of the working environment without consideration for the work places of children which is the school environment. This study was therefore carried out to assess the compatibility of kindergarten and class one pupils to their school furniture in the Asokore Mampong Municipality. A cross-sectional analytic study was used for the study. Four schools (two from a relatively low socioeconomic area and the other two from a relatively high socioeconomic area) were randomly selected using simple random sampling method. Anthropometric dimensions of 396 healthy students without physical deformity were taken in standing and sitting positions with standard measuring tape. Only children whose parents consented from the selected schools were used in the study. The existing furniture dimensions were equally taken in centimeters by measuring tape. A statistical-software, Stata 14.1 was used to calculate the mean value, maximum and minimum percentile values in anthropometry (ie. 5th,95th and 99th percentiles) and standard deviation value to describe the physical characteristics of the data obtained. A comparison of the anthropometric measures and the furniture used by students were computed using standard equations to identify a match or mismatch of the furniture to the students. The seat to desk clearance was highly inappropriate for the student population concerned. A seat to desk clearance is said to be appropriate when the desk clearance is higher by at least 2 cm of the knee. In our study population, desk clearance for kindergarten one students in the relatively high and low socioeconomic area schools were 17 and 11.9 while the thigh thickness was 22 and 18, thus, the desk clearance did not meet this standard criterion. The situation was the same across kindergarten 2 and class one student population. The seat depth provided for the kindergarten 1 and 2 students in the relatively low socioeconomic area schools in the municipality as well as those provided for the class 1 students in the relatively low socioeconomic area schools were shorter than the ideal seat depth hence the thigh will not be fully supported and extra pressure will be distributed on the back of the thigh causing discomfort. The measured seat depth for kindergarten 1 students were 28.07 against a calculated seat depth of 26.6 for the students in relatively high socioeconomic area schools and 22.08 measured against 24.7 calculated for the relatively low socioeconomic area school. The seat to desk height was also found to be inappropriately high when compared with the Acceptable Elbow REST height (AERH) of the students. The AERH of kindergarten 1 students was 18.89 in the relatively high socioeconomic area school while the seat to desk height was 22.17, an indication of a mismatch of the furniture. The study concluded that there were considerable mismatches between body dimensions of the student population and the school furniture in use with respect to seat to desk height, seat depth and desk clearance. The study therefore recommends the establishment of standards based on the anthropometry of Ghanaian school children by the Ghana Standards Authority in collaboration with other relevant institutions like the Ghana Statistical Service, the Ghana Education Service and all relevant stakeholders.
Description: A Thesis submitted to the Department of Occupational and Environmental Health and Safety, School of Graduate Studies, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, in partial fulfilment of the requirement for the Degree of Master of Science, Occupational and Environmental Health and Safety, November, 2019.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/123456789/13612
Appears in Collections:College of Health Sciences

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