OTSH 80: Ergonomics In and Out of School with Kirsten Beshay, OTD, MA, OTR/L




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Welcome to the show notes for Episode 80 of the OT School House Podcast.


We are kicking off the 2021-22 school year with the perfect topic - Ergonomics.


For the better part of 18 months, many of us have been working from home and students have been learning from their couches, beds, & Kitchen table. If you are lucky, you have had a desk in your home to work from.


Now, Most of us are heading back into the school buildings and that is going to be a big change on our bodies. So today I am bringing on School-Based OT and Ergonomic Specialist, Kirsten Beshay, to talk a little bit about how ergonomics has and will continue to impact us, the teachers in our schools, and the kids we serve.


In this episode, we dive into both her experiences as an ergonomic specialist in the private sector as well as her experiences in the schools.


Links to Show References:

Article References:

  • Jacobs, K. (Ed.). (2008) Ergonomics for therapists. Mosby Elsevier.

  • American Occupational Therapy Association. (2020). 2019 workforce & salary survey.

  • Fisher, T. (2019). Occupational therapy’s work and industry area of practice: Content in entry-level professional occupational therapy curricula: A survey. The Open Journal of Occupational Therapy, 7(4), 1-10.

  • Guirado, Terry, Chambonnière, Camille, Chaput, Jean-Philippe, Metz, Lore, Thivel, David, & Duclos, Martine. (2021). Effects of classroom active desks on children and adolescents' physical activity, sedentary behavior, academic achievements and overall health: A systematic review. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 18(6), 2828. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18062828

  • Sarafian, A. (2019). Educational participation for children 5-21 years. Systematic review of related literature from 2010 to 2017 [Critically Appraised Topic]. Bethesda, MD: American Occupational Therapy Association.

  • United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2021a). Detailed event or exposure by selected natures [Data file]. Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/iif/soii-data.htm

  • United States Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2021b). Employment status of the civilian noninstitutional population, 1950 to date [Data file]. Retrieved from https://www.bls.gov/cps/tables.htm#annual

  • Wong, C. W., Tsai, A., Jonas, J. B., Ohno-Matsui, K., Chen, J., Ang, M., & Ting, D. S. W. (2020). Digital screen time during COVID-19 pandemic: Risk for a further myopia boom? American Journal of Ophthalmology, 2020-07. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ajo.2020.07.034



Episode Transcript

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Amazing Narrator

Hello, and welcome to the OT School House podcast, your source for school-based occupational therapy tips, interviews, and professional development. Now to get the conversation started, here's your host, Jayson Davies. Class is officially in session.


Jayson Davies

Hey there, welcome back for what I'm calling is the first episode of the 2021-2022 school year of the OT School House podcast. Thank you so much for joining me today. My name is Jayson Davies, and I am an occupational therapist down in Southern California. But I'm happy to be with you, wherever you are in the world listening today really appreciate you being here. Today, I wanted to have a podcast that really embodied the return to schools. Because right now, you know, some of you got back to school to the physical building at the end of the last school year or some part of last school year. For others of us, we're just going back in person this year. And so I really wanted something that would embody that. You know this is a start to a school year, like none other, there is just so much. I don't want to use the word controversy. But really, there is controversy about everything that's going on right now. And so we're gonna set that controversy aside, and we're going to talk about ergonomics today. And why I think ergonomics is the perfect topic for today is because like I said, we have people who have been learning from their couches, learning from their beds, learning from their home offices, whether you are an adult like you and I probably, or a kid, they've been learning from their bed, you've been maybe working from your bed or couch. And now we're all having to go back into work potentially. And that is going to be a big change in our own bodies. And so today I am bringing on Kirsten Beshay. She is a Doctor of occupational therapy. She studied at the University of Southern California, my own alma mater fight on football season is coming up for all you Trojans out there, and everyone else who's interested in football. And then she ended up getting her OTD at Boston University. And we'll actually talk a little bit about that, as we get started with this interview. She is an ergonomics specialist. And you know, she's actually pretty new to school-based OT. And so she's going to talk to us about ergonomics in school-based OT as well as ergonomics outside of school-based OT for any of you who have ever had an interest and what that might look like. So kick back, relax, put that phone away if you haven't already. And please enjoy this interview with Kirsten Beshay. Hey, Kirsten, welcome to the OT School House podcast. How are you doing today?


Kirsten Beshay

Hey, Jayson. I'm so happy to be here. I'm doing great.


Jayson Davies

Awesome. And you know what, I have to start with this because you just said you're going on a trip. And by the time people hear this, you will probably already be back. But tell us where are you going?


Kirsten Beshay

Yeah, I'm going to Egypt tomorrow. My husband was actually born and raised in Cairo. So we are going to see family.


Jayson Davies

Oh, wow. So it's not just for I mean, just have fun. I mean, it is to have fun, obviously. But it's also to see some family huh?


Kirsten Beshay

Yeah, yeah, I've done the pyramids before. I've been on the camel. So I think this one will be a pretty low-key family... family visit.


Jayson Davies

Not too much sightseeing. Just kind of taking easy eating some good food, I'm sure. Company...


Kirsten Beshay

Always about the food for me for sure. So yeah, I think that part will absolutely be a big piece of it.


Jayson Davies

That's awesome. Oh, man. I've never been to Egypt never been to. I mean, I've been to Europe. But that's about I've only been to Europe and Peru as far as outside of the country. Unless you count the Virgin Islands, but whatever. But yeah, that'll be a fun demo now to Egypt. And sounds like you've been there before. So that's gonna be one...


Kirsten Beshay

Once before. Yeah, I'm still relatively a newbie. But you know, I have a family of experts. I get the insider scoop.


Jayson Davies