Furniture Ergonomics Address Increasing Size of North Americans

Posted: 03/14/2013 9:41PM


BIFMA Grand Rapids, MI – The BIFMA G1-2013 Ergonomics Guideline provides dimensional guidance to office furniture manufacturers in the development, design, and specification of ergonomic solutions for computer workspaces in North America.

“Our customers, and therefore our industry, face constant change in today’s workplaces including new technologies, new ways of working, and an increasingly diverse workforce. As a result more employers are pursuing ergonomically sound office environments as a means to improving health, safety and productivity,” said Lucy Hart, Certified Ergonomist with The Global Group and Chair of the BIFMA Ergonomics Subcommittee. “Up-to-date standards and guidelines are vital resources that guide our industry and our customers on this journey.”

BIFMA undertook revision of BIFMA G1-2002 in 2009, using new civilian anthropometric data. The new data reflected changes in the size and shape of the North American working population and resulted in a number of G1 recommended dimensions and adjustment range changes. The dimensional changes included increased seat width, distance between armrests, support surface height for sitting and standing, and height clearance for legs and knees.

“Proper application of the BIFMA Ergonomics Guideline will enhance the performance and comfort of computer users,” said BIFMA Technical Director, David Panning. “The more intensive the computer usage, the more important adherence to the Guideline becomes.”

Heavy Occupant Chair Standard in Development

BIFMA is also developing a Heavy Occupant Chair Standard. The BIFMA Chair Standards Subcommittee is developing the new standard for office (and possibly lounge) chairs with 253 to 400 lbs. as the basis for the tests. This standard will pick up where the X5.1 Seating Standard (up to 253 lbs./95th percentile male) leaves off regarding user weights.

Source: BIFMA




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