THE ROLE OF ERGONOMIC HEALTH IN THE GEOSCIENCE CURRICULUM: A MULTI-LEVEL INTERVENTION APPROACH
The multi-level intervention included an education component and changes in organizational culture and physical environment for students, staff, and faculty. Online pre and post-test surveys were distributed and collected at the beginning and end of the intervention over an academic year. For the pre-test survey, a total of 552 students (Undergraduate students: 447, Graduate students: 66) responded to the survey. For the post-survey, a total of 108 students responded to the survey. The results showed that students’ knowledge about ergonomics was improved by 25%, and that they were more aware of the impact on their health and their behaviors. Most significant results for employers and the University were the high number of average hours per day (4 hours) spent on smart phones and the dominant position these devices occupy in students’ daily lives.
The intervention showed short-term success in knowledge and behavior improvement. The long-term impacts for industry partners on the health outcomes for their future employees should be examined to allow the intervention impacts to be improved and the cost impacts calculated for the Geoscience industry. We will be expanding our program to address ergonomic health in the use of microscopes and other repetitive activities including those in the field.