Due to the pandemic, and the lack of in-person clinical sites, a new program was developed and created by Physical Therapy Professors Susan Mais DPT, OCS, and Laurie Boulware-PT, DPT called the “Ergonomic Education Program.”  PT Students researched and developed materials to help prevent or manage musculoskeletal pain as a result of the sudden requirement of extended online hours for work and school.  The students created videos for five different aged groups and then led synchronous online classes under the supervision of faculty mentors.

Twenty-five students in their DPT third trimester participated in this novel program.  There were over 160 participants ranging from early elementary to postgraduate students, as well as faculty and administration at Chapman.  The participants were surveyed following the presentation and the responses were overwhelmingly positive.


  • 92% reported they learned a moderate to high amount following the student lead presentation
  • 99% of all the participants said they will make changes to their ergonomic setup or their activity level or posture. This was broken down as follows:
    • 69% of the group said they would make changes to their posture,
    • 62% stated they would get up and move more often while they are on the computer
    • 43% of the group said they would change their computer or laptop set up based on the recommendations

Here are some of the individual participant’s comments:

  • “I loved the presentation and videos I watched.”
  • “The presentation was concise and clear. Learned simple tricks to increase movement in areas I otherwise don’t really exercise.”
  • “The video was VERY informative and comical with examples on poor and good posture while working at a desk.””
  • “The live session was a lot of fun to do exercises, the quiz, and see how common everyone’s issues are with their workspace in the chat. Thank you!!”
  • “Great presentation, I learned good information and will be making changes to my routine! Thank you

With the success of this pilot program, the PT department plans to continue providing the service in the future.