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Essay on Ergonomics

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The paper being critiqued by Purwaningrum and Muraki is about redesigning elementary school chairs for easy carrying and moving after observing them. They stated that chairs that can easily be moved are essential when changing classroom settings. It would encourage children to be engaged in student learning when chairs are arranged in a way that corresponds to an activity (Earp, 2017). They observed that elementary classrooms in Indonesia have chairs that are not easily moved or carried by the students. The chairs are built with the same dimension from all grade levels in elementary school. The chairs would be harder to carry for younger groups of elementary students than the older batches. The design of the chairs as stated by the researchers are dangerous to carry for young students. The objective of the study was to observe how the children are carrying chairs in order to design a chair that can be easily moved and carried. In addition, chairs should be designed in a way that it would not only be carried safely, but also be used for better classroom productivity. According to Faculty of University of Manitoba (n.d.), well-designed chairs, or comfortable chairs increases student productivity in the classroom by reducing discomfort. Furniture in classrooms, especially chairs need to be ergonomically designed to improve physical health when being used. After long hours of sitting, our bones may degrade and discomfort us that is why chairs should be ergonomically designed in a classroom where learning while sitting takes place. (Hoque et al., 2014).

41 Indonesian and Japanese children aged 6-9 were gathered and their anthropometric measurements were recorded. The study used three types of chairs from Indonesian and Japanese elementary school classrooms with different dimensions and weights. The children were tasked to sit on the chairs, and carry and move the chairs for 3 meters. Time was also recorded as well as an audio-visual recording. The researchers determined different parts of the chairs where the children could carry them. The researchers observed four methods of carrying the chair and found no significant difference between them to the results on how they carried the chairs. They also observed 9 different kinds of holding patterns and found out 2 patterns were frequently used. They found out that Japanese chairs are safer to carry following the holding patterns than Indonesian elementary school chairs. They stated that the Indonesian chairs are thicker, heavier and have sharp corners making them unfit for children’s use. According to Education Business (n.d.), properly designed chairs prevent long-term physical damage to students and help them concentrate learning by removing sitting discomfort.

Critique Proper

The topic chosen is beneficial to elementary school children so that their learning environment would not hinder them from gathering new knowledge.

Positive Points: Pictures, tables and figures are used so that the reader would understand the paper more, be guided, and would not be confused on their methods. Pictures of the chairs are used to help the readers know what chairs are being described in the paper as well as what parts of the chairs are labeled and used in the experiment. The methods of how children carry the chairs are well presented that without it, the description of it would not be easily understood. According to Rodrigues (2013), Figures, tables, or display items are essential for research papers to give readers guides on data presented, and help readers understand detailed data presented through a summarized tables and figures. The paper answered their question well by identifying the current problem of the chairs and discussed thoroughly the findings of the research. The paper was well written that it could be understandable and comprehended by readers. The paper also concluded well by identifying what makes the chair hard to carry and suggesting a new design to counter it. The paper contributed to new knowledge in the industry in order to design a better chair for elementary school children. According to Hughes (2001), a good research paper should contribute to new knowledge and have a structure easily understandable and comprehendible by the readers. It entices them to appreciate and read more about the topic of the research.

Negative Points: The research did not provide a section of related studies about chair handling. A good research needs to have related literature in order to know the questions that needed to be answered by the research paper. The questions would be the guide for the researchers about unanswered querries related to the topic. The purpose of the related literature is to know that there would be no duplication of the current studies with another, have assumptions in conducting research, and help the researcher choose methods that would be best used to answer the questions of the topic. In addition, it gives a comparison on whether the results of this experiment is the same or contradicting with other experiments. (Reyes, 2014). Another is that the sample size of the research is too small that the results may be inaccurate. The experiment only used 41 participants, which could represent millions of elementary school children from Indonesia and Japan. The research should have calculated the sample size that should be used to have a smaller margin of error and have better accuracy to real results. A small sample size would have a larger margin of error in an experiment, making it unreliable, or inaccurate. (Science Buddies, n.d.). According to Dessel (2013), computing for the sample size would determine how many participants are needed to have results close to real results. For best results, 385 participants are needed to have a margin of error 5% and a confidence level of 95%.

The paper was well thought of and the research did contribute to new knowledge which makes it significant. It would help young students improve their learning environment when the findings would be used in designing a chair that can be easily moved or carried. It was well though of that a chair should be versatile not only by being comfortable in sitting but also comfortable in transporting it. According to Erwin (2016), in order to have a good learning experience in an elementary classroom, activities are highly recommended by the teacher to build camaraderie among other students, and influence them to go to school. For these activities to happen, a change in classroom setting is required. To do so, chairs and classroom furniture have to move to have space. This is where the chairs that are easily carried may come in handy.

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