• Healthy Working MOVE will teach students how to work and relax safely when using electronic devices • Cardinus Risk Management course will be offered free of charge to all colleges and universities in the UK
UNIVERSITIES and colleges are being offered a free e-learning course designed to help keep students safe from the health risks of poor posture, careless use of electronic devices and bad manual handling activity. Students are particularly at risk because many have been using electronic devices for several years without guidance.
The past few years have seen a significant increase in the number of students showing signs of musculoskeletal disorder, with many requiring NHS treatment and taking medication. Almost all of these problems can be attributed to the dramatic rise in the use of computers, smartphones, games consoles and iPad-style tablet devices. Poor posture when working and relaxing with technology is also a major contributing factor and the need to carry heavy book bags also plays its part.
Jon Abbott, managing director - ergonomics and safety at Cardinus Risk Management, said, "It's important that we raise students' awareness of the importance of healthy spine posture, at college and at home. The long-term benefits are many and varied; the cost of failing to address musculoskeletal problems in students and other young people could be high.
"College is a student's place of work and the health and safety considerations that apply to employees in the respect of technology, seating, lifting and carrying, should also apply to students. They are also at risk from the bad habits they develop at home.
"Healthy Working MOVE will teach students how to stay comfortable and safe by using technology sensibly, sitting properly when working and relaxing and managing their book bags correctly."
Healthy Working MOVE has been developed by Cardinus Risk Management in partnership with Health and Safety Laboratory, an agency of the Health and Safety Executive, and is based on an award-winning training programme called Healthy Working that helps to protect workers around the world. The e-learning course uses engaging online activities to teach young people about the safe use of technology. The student version is aimed at the 18+ age group and can be accessed now at healthyworking.com/move. There is also a version for children under 12 years old and a version for the 12-18 age group.
Jon Abbott added, "We all want to protect young people and spare them pain and discomfort, but as a successful business we also see them as the workforce of the future. By acting now to educate them about healthy working we are potentially preventing a catastrophic and expensive problem in years to come.
"The experience Cardinus has with its ergonomic training programmes for corporate clients worldwide, plus our close relationship with the Health and Safety Laboratory means we are in a great position to help protect students. We have taken the decision to make Healthy Working MOVE available free to education establishments across the country."
Healthy Working MOVE is supported by the Institute of Ergonomics & Human Factors (IEHF), NEBOSH and the International Institute of Risk & Safety Management (IIRSM).
Cardinus Risk Management has been developing effective display screen equipment (DSE) and ergonomics programmes since 1995. Its customers include many of the world's leading organisations, central government departments and unions.
The Cardinus approach to effective DSE management is to apply simple programmes that provide a modular, adaptable solution. Healthy Working, the innovative online DSE assessment and e-learning solution, provides award-winning solutions that are fully endorsed by the International Institute of Risk and Safety Management.
Healthy Working MOVE takes all the expertise that went into Healthy Working and presents it in a format that young people will enjoy and that is available completely free of charge to all universities and colleges. For more information, universities and colleges should telephone 020 7469 0200.
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