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BMC Public Health ; 21(1): 1970, 2021 11 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1496157


BACKGROUND: College students are leading an evolution of device use both in the type of device and the frequency of use. They have transitioned from desktop stations to laptops, tablets, and especially smartphones and use them throughout the day and into the night. METHODS: Using a 35-min online survey, we sought to understand how technology daily usage patterns, device types, and postures affect pain and discomfort to understand how knowledge of that pain might help students avoid it. Data were analyzed from 515 students (69.5% male) who completed an internet-delivered survey (81.3% response rate). RESULTS: Participants ranked smartphones as their most frequently used technology (64.0%), followed by laptops and tablets (both 53.2%), and desktop computers (46.4%). Time spent using smartphones averaged over 4.4 h per day. When using their devices, students were more likely to adopt non-traditional workplace postures as they used these devices primarily on the couch or at a chair with no desk. CONCLUSION: Recent trends in wireless academic access points along with the portability of small handheld devices, have made smartphones the most common link to educational materials despite having the least favorable control and display scenario from an ergonomic perspective. Further, the potential impact of transitions in work environments due to COVID-19 may further exacerbate ergonomic issues among millions highlighting the need for such work to be carried out.

COVID-19 , Electronics , Female , Humans , Male , SARS-CoV-2 , Smartphone , Students
Hum Factors ; 62(7): 1061-1068, 2020 11.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-639000


OBJECTIVE: We aimed to identify opportunities for application of human factors knowledge base to mitigate disaster management (DM) challenges associated with the unique characteristics of the COVID-19 pandemic. BACKGROUND: The role of DM is to minimize and prevent further spread of the contagion over an extended period of time. This requires addressing large-scale logistics, coordination, and specialized training needs. However, DM-related challenges during the pandemic response and recovery are significantly different than with other kinds of disasters. METHOD: An expert review was conducted to document issues relevant to human factors and ergonomics (HFE) in DM. RESULTS: The response to the COVID-19 crisis has presented complex and unique challenges to DM and public health practitioners. Compared to other disasters and previous pandemics, the COVID-19 outbreak has had an unprecedented scale, magnitude, and propagation rate. The high technical complexity of response and DM coupled with lack of mental model and expertise to respond to such a unique disaster has seriously challenged the response work systems. Recent research has investigated the role of HFE in modeling DM systems' characteristics to improve resilience, accelerating emergency management expertise, developing agile training methods to facilitate dynamically changing response, improving communication and coordination among system elements, mitigating occupational hazards including guidelines for the design of personal protective equipment, and improving procedures to enhance efficiency and effectiveness of response efforts. CONCLUSION: This short review highlights the potential for the field's contribution to proactive and resilient DM for the ongoing and future pandemics.

Coronavirus Infections/epidemiology , Disaster Planning/methods , Emergency Medical Services/methods , Ergonomics/methods , Pandemics/statistics & numerical data , Pneumonia, Viral/epidemiology , COVID-19 , Communication , Emergency Responders , Guideline Adherence , Health Services Needs and Demand , Humans , Inservice Training , Interdisciplinary Communication , Intersectoral Collaboration , Pandemics/prevention & control , Personal Protective Equipment