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Sitting and standing postures are corrected by adjustable furniture with lowered muscle tension in high-school students

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This study compared the effect of 24 months of adjustable school desks and chairs usage (the intervention) and traditional non-adjustable usage (the control condition) on sitting and standing postures, muscle strength, classroom muscle tension, pain and learning in 15 (8 female and 7 male) high-school students and 15 anthropometrically and gender matched control students from neighbouring schools. It was assessed whether any responses took place after growth cessation. In comparison with controls, the intervention group of students' sitting postures standing kyphosis, scoliosis and lordosis became significantly better, both before and after growth cessation. Trunk muscle strength increased in the intervention students whose muscle tension during classes fell significantly in the trapezius and lumbar muscles, whereas in control students' lumbar tension increased. Headache and low-back pain correlated with neck-shoulder pain and trapezius muscle tension. Intervention students reported that they experienced benefits from the adjustable tables and chairs. They also received significantly better overall marks than the controls at the end of high school. It is concluded that the adjustable school desks and chairs promoted better sitting and standing postures, increased muscle strength, alleviated pain and appeared to be associated with better overall academic marks.
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Keywords: Adjustable school desks; Muscle strength; Standing and sitting postures; Student growth

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Physiology, University of Kuopio, Kuopio, Finland

Publication date: October 1, 2007

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