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Preventing Software From Causing Injury


A software user.

The Self-Report Ergonomic Assessment Tool is being developed by researchers at the Texas A&M School of Public Health to help determine how much physical stress computer programs put on users.

Credit: vitalrecord.tamhsc.edu

Researchers at the Texas A&M School of Public Health are creating the Self-Report Ergonomic Assessment Tool (SEAT) to help develop safer software by ascertaining how much stress computer programs put on users.

The SEAT relies on users self-reporting stress, which obviates the need for special training.

"The SEAT can look at two concepts of ergonomic risk: stressors, like bad posture, and strain, pain, or discomfort that comes from the stressor," says Texas A&M's Paul Ritchey. "The idea is for SEAT to be used as a barometer for ergonomic risks through software design cycles."

Texas A&M professor Camille Peres says, "We initially leveraged items from existing ergonomic measures and adjusted them so they would be appropriate for self-report and the office environment."

The next steps for the tool include refining its accuracy, as well as altering it to help developers eliminate stressors from software to prevent strain from ever happening.

From Vital Record
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