The first ‘standard’ school desk that was designed towards the end of the 18th century by Anna Breadin redefined the ‘study desk’.
The design transformed the classroom towards what it is today, no longer were students subjected to long benches and long tables as the study desk became a standard element in classrooms across the world within just a few decades after the first design.
Over time as knowledge of human anatomy and biology improved, the health risks that ‘badly designed’ furniture posed soon became evident which opened up a new field of study referred to as ergonomics.
This field of study revolved around an applied science that was concerned with the design and arrangement of things such as study desks and chairs that allowed users to interact or use these things efficiently and safely.
In short Ergonomic furniture are about things like chairs, desks, keyboards, pens or just about any piece of furniture or equipment that were designed to advocate good posture and reduce the risk of injury to the human body due to uncomfortable designs or poorly placed furniture in an environment.
Studies related to ergonomics have made it evident that ergonomic environments that consist of ergonomic furniture reduce human error significantly and enhance productivity, safety, health and comfort.
For students, regardless of their level of education, (primary, secondary, or advance levels), the study desk is the place that most students accumulate knowledge and often, the serious student spends hours at a study desk. It is a place where a student forms his or her perspective of the future and it is the place where they focus on school work and learn new things – it is their fortress of solitude.
This being said, studies have shown that students who own ergonomic study desks and chairs are able to spend longer hours at their study desk due to the comfort that such furniture provides and often perform better in their studies, the same applies to those who work from ergonomic office desks that do not only render the users more productive, but such furniture also promotes better posture and reduce stress on the spine which is essential towards avoiding back problems.
Ergonomic chairs for example are mostly designed with adjustable seats that allow the user’s to adjust the chair to fit the user’s natural shape and size. High quality ergonomic chairs allow the chair seat area to be widened or narrowed down, increase or reduce seat height, allow the backrest to be repositioned and some even come with tilt options.
Ergonomic study desks or office desks on the other hand are usually design in a way that allows the user to cross his or her legs, allow the desk height to be adjusted which is critical towards eliminating stress on the wrist, upper back and shoulders.
Keyboards that come with wrist rests are also deemed as ergonomic as the wrist rests relieve stress on the wrists and arms, especially if users are required to type for long periods of time, which students are often subjected to when doing their assignments or even when they play games for hours.