Derby City Council has provided all its schools with information about Healthy Working MOVE, the ground-breaking free ergonomics course for schoolchildren and students from Cardinus Risk Management.

The council has included details about the programme in its communications to schools in Derby in a bid to help improve the health and well-being of children and young people in the city. The messages also include advice and information for teachers and council employees on how to use new technology comfortably and safely.

Healthy Working MOVE has been developed by Cardinus in Partnership with the Health and Safety Laboratory, an agency of the Health and Safety Executive. It is supported by the International Institute of Risk and Safety Management (IIRSM), NEBOSH, Institute of Ergonomics & Human Factors (IEHF) and Jolly Back (Back Care and Ergonomics for Children).

The e-learning courses use engaging online activities to teach young people about the safe use of technology. There is a version for primary school children, a version for secondary school children and another for students in higher education. All versions are being offered to UK schools, colleges and universities free of charge.

Sue Kelly, policy and training development officer in Derby City Council’s corporate health and safety team, said, “We included details about Health Working MOVE in our electronic circular for schools as well as a mailshot. In addition, the message went out in our weekly bulletin for employees. We have created a page on the council’s intranet and on the schools’ extranet to highlight the need to bring good posture and sensible use of technology into our learning centres.”

Jon Abbott, director of Cardinus Risk Management, said, “This is great news for children and students in schools across Derby. I’m delighted Derby has taken a lead on this and hope other local authorities follow their example.

“It’s important that we raise children’s awareness of the importance of healthy spine posture, at school and at home. The long-term benefits are many and varied; the cost of failing to address musculoskeletal problems in children could be high.

“School is a child’s place of work and the health and safety considerations that apply to adults in the respect of technology, seating, lifting and carrying, should also apply to children. They are also at risk from the bad habits they develop at home. Healthy Working MOVE will teach children how to stay comfortable and safe by using technology sensibly, sitting properly when working and relaxing and managing their school bags correctly.”

“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 children. Healthy Working MOVE is our first response to the problem and we have taken the decision to make it available free to education establishments across the country.”

Healthy Working MOVE presents advice on the safe use of technology in a format that young people will enjoy and that is available completely free of charge to all UK schools and colleges. For more information, schools, colleges and universities should call 020 7469 0200 or complete the online contact form.

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