On further research into ergonomic and anthropometric design, I found an interesting article that talks about anthropometric measurements for ergonomic design of students’ furniture in India.
This paper presents anthropometric measurements regarding engineering students in India. Health survey (ergonomic assessment) was carried out to know the health status of all students who have been using poorly designed furniture. The data were measured with the help of various tools. After data collection and analysis, authors came up with exhaustive dimensions for designing adjustable classrooms furniture. Dimensions recommended include; bench surface height, bench depth and width, back rest width and height, backrest angle, desk height, desk depth, width, and desk angle. Therefore, an implementation of these data will help to create comfortability, safety, well-being, suitability, reduce Musculoskeletal disorders, and improve performance of students in terms of attentiveness. Also, it is highly recommended to consider requirements from students in designing classrooms furniture and conduct seminar or workshop to educate students regarding the negative impact towards adapting poor posture in the long usage of classrooms furniture. (Taifa, I and Desai, D 2017)
The document tells me that anthropometry is defined as the study of body dimensions and the working capacity for design purposes and body composition. Apparently this data was not considered at the initial stage of furniture design and so the classroom furniture is of low comfort level to students. It shows me that the anthropometric measurements should be considered when designing to help students achieve a comfort level which then reduces musculoskeletal disorders and improve the performance of students as they spend many hours per day sitting. Comfortability leads to well-being and reduces stress and improves performance. The main aim of this particular study was to collect anthropometric measurements from a group of engineering students, over three engineering colleges for students aged 17-37 years and find out the criteria and dimensions that are essential for designing an adjustable chair and table at the engineering colleges in India.
I know from first hand experience how important it is to have a comfortable chair to sit in when sat for hours on end at a desk. In the office jobs I have had over the years, I was never asked if I was comfortable at my seat or given the option to change, I do remember purchasing aids to help my posture and support for my wrists leaning on the desk towards the typewriter or later on in my working career the mouse! It’s not until later in life that we have more of an appreciation for comfort, for some that can be too late in respect of musculoskeletal disorders.
(Taifa, I and Desai, D 2017) https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2215098616304578#b0180 (accessed 24.8.20)