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1.  Educators' working conditions in a day care centre on ownership of a non-profit organization 
Background
Working conditions of nursery school teachers have not been scrutinized thoroughly in scientific research. Only a few studies have so far examined work-load and strain in this profession. Preferably, subjective perceptions should be corroborated by data that can be quantified more objectively and accurately. The aim of the present observational field study was to evaluate pedagogical staffs' workflow.
Methods
In 2009 eleven educators in a day care centre were observed throughout three complete workdays. A total of 250 working hours were recorded.
Results
An educators' workday lasted on average 07:46:59 h (SD = 01:01:10 h). Within this time span, an average of 02:20:46 h (30.14%, SD = 00:28:07 h) were spent on caring, 01:44:18 h on playing (22.33%, SD = 00:54:12 h), 00:49:37 h on educational work (10.62%, SD = 00:40:09), and only 00:05:38 h on individual child contact (1.21%, SD = 00:04:58 h).
Conclusion
For the first time, educators' workflow in day care centres was studied in real time. Some of the educators' self-reported problems were corroborated. The results of this study form a basis upon which further investigations can be built and measures can be developed for an overall improvement of child care.
doi:10.1186/1745-6673-6-36
PMCID: PMC3293755  PMID: 22192358
educator; working conditions; task analysis; workload; real-time observation
2.  Reduced inclination of cervical spine in a novel notebook screen system - implications for rehabilitation 
Background
Professional working at computer notebooks is associated with high requirements on the body posture in the seated position. By the high continuous static muscle stress resulting from this position at notebooks, professionals frequently working at notebooks for long hours are exposed to an increased risk of musculoskeletal complaints. Especially in subjects with back pain, new notebooks should be evaluated with a focus on rehabilitative issues.
Methods
In a field study a new notebook design with adjustable screen was analyzed and compared to standard notebook position.
Results
There are highly significant differences in the visual axis of individuals who are seated in the novel notebook position in comparison to the standard position. Also, differences are present between further alternative notebook positions. Testing of gender and glasses did not reveal influences.
Conclusion
This study demonstrates that notebooks with adjustable screen may be used to improve the posture. Future studies may focus on patients with musculoskeletal diseases.
doi:10.1186/1745-6673-6-30
PMCID: PMC3253038  PMID: 22118159
3.  Bidirectional Assessment of Stress, job satisfaction and work ability of Educators in day care centres: a real-time observation study - the study protocol (BASE) 
Background
Occupational demands of educators are not very well researched. Nevertheless their work is subject to several requirements. Whether these demands have an effect on the work ability and the health status of employees has also not been examined. Furthermore it is unclear if the ownership type of day care centres have an influence on job satisfaction and work ability of the pedagogical staff and what kind of resources do exist. Previous studies were mainly based on questionnaire data. Objective data does not exist. Therefore the aim of this investigation is to collect precise data relating to work of educators.
Methods
Effects of different types of ownership of day care centres on job satisfaction and work ability of educators will be assessed with the help of objective real time studies in combination with multi-level psycho diagnostic measurements.
Discussion
The present study is the first of its kind. Up to now there are no computer-based real time studies on workflow of pedagogical staff with regard to assess their work-related stress. Following an exhaustive documentation of educators work processes the day-to-day task can be estimated and approaches for prevention can be developed. This can substantially contribute to an overall improvement of child care in Germany.
doi:10.1186/1745-6673-5-16
PMCID: PMC2908634  PMID: 20587012
4.  Berlin's medical students' smoking habits, knowledge about smoking and attitudes toward smoking cessation counseling 
Background
Diseases associated with smoking are a foremost cause of premature death in the world, both in developed and developing countries. Eliminating smoking can do more to improve health and prolong life than any other measure in the field of preventive medicine. Today's medical students will play a prominent role in future efforts to prevent and control tobacco use.
Methods
A cross-sectional, self-administered, anonymous survey of fifth-year medical students in Berlin, Germany was conducted in November 2007. The study explored the prevalence of smoking among medical students. We assessed their current knowledge regarding tobacco dependence and the effectiveness of smoking cessation methods. Students' perceived competence to counsel smokers and promote smoking cessation treatments was also explored. Analyses were based on responses from 258 students (86.6% response rate).
Results
One quarter of the medical students surveyed were current smokers. The smoking rate was 22.1% among women, 32.4% among men. Students underestimated smoking-related mortality and the negative effect of smoking on longevity. A considerable number of subjects erroneously assumed that nicotine causes coronary artery disease. Students' overall knowledge of the effectiveness of smoking cessation methods was inadequate. Only one third of the students indicated that they felt qualified to counsel patients about tobacco dependence.
Conclusions
This study reveals serious deficiencies in knowledge and counseling skills among medical students in our sample. The curriculum of every medical school should include a tobacco module. Thus, by providing comprehensive training in nicotine dependence interventions to medical students, smokers will have access to the professional expertise they need to quit smoking.
doi:10.1186/1745-6673-5-9
PMCID: PMC2861685  PMID: 20398350
5.  Mobile Air Quality Studies (MAQS)-an international project 
Due to an increasing awareness of the potential hazardousness of air pollutants, new laws, rules and guidelines have recently been implemented globally. In this respect, numerous studies have addressed traffic-related exposure to particulate matter using stationary technology so far. By contrast, only few studies used the advanced technology of mobile exposure analysis. The Mobile Air Quality Study (MAQS) addresses the issue of air pollutant exposure by combining advanced high-granularity spatial-temporal analysis with vehicle-mounted, person-mounted and roadside sensors. The MAQS-platform will be used by international collaborators in order 1) to assess air pollutant exposure in relation to road structure, 2) to assess air pollutant exposure in relation to traffic density, 3) to assess air pollutant exposure in relation to weather conditions, 4) to compare exposure within vehicles between front and back seat (children) positions, and 5) to evaluate "traffic zone"-exposure in relation to non-"traffic zone"-exposure.
Primarily, the MAQS-platform will focus on particulate matter. With the establishment of advanced mobile analysis tools, it is planed to extend the analysis to other pollutants including NO2, SO2, nanoparticles and ozone.
doi:10.1186/1745-6673-5-8
PMCID: PMC2865482  PMID: 20380704
6.  Tobacco Control: Visualisation of Research Activity Using Density-Equalizing Mapping and Scientometric Benchmarking Procedures 
Background:
Tobacco smoking continues to be a major preventable cause of death and disease and therefore tobacco control research is extremely important. However, research in this area is often hampered by a lack in funding and there is a need for scientometric techniques to display research efforts.
Methods:
The present study combines classical bibliometric tools with novel scientometric and visualizing techniques in order to analyse and categorise research in the field of tobacco control.
Results:
All studies related to tobacco control and listed in the ISI database since 1900 were identified by the use of defined search terms. Using bibliometric approaches, a continuous increase in qualitative markers such as collaboration numbers or citations were found for tobacco control research. The combination with density equalizing mapping revealed a distinct global pattern of research productivity and citation activity. Radar chart techniques were used to visualize bi- and multilateral research cooperation and institutional cooperation.
Conclusions:
The present study supplies a first scientometric approach that visualises research activity in the field of tobacco control. It provides data that can be used for funding policy and the identification of research clusters.
doi:10.3390/ijerph6061856
PMCID: PMC2705221  PMID: 19578464
tobacco control; scientometrics; density equalizing mapping

Results 1-6 (6)