Applying different equations to evaluate the level of mismatch between students and school furniture

By Castellucci, H.I.; Arezes, P.M.; Molenbroek, J.F.M.

Applied Ergonomics

2014

Abstract

The mismatch between students and school furniture is likely to result in a number of negative effects, such as uncomfortable body posture, pain, and ultimately, it may also affect the learning process. This study's main aim is to review the literature describing the criteria equations for defining the mismatch between students and school furniture, to apply these equations to a specific sample and, based on the results, to propose a methodology to evaluate school furniture suitability. The literature review comprises one publications database, which was used to identify the studies carried out in the field of the abovementioned mismatch. The sample used for testing the different equations was composed of 2261 volunteer subjects from 14 schools. Fifteen studies were found to meet the criteria of this review and 21 equations to test 6 furniture dimensions were identified. Regarding seat height, there are considerable differences between the two most frequently used equations. Although seat to desk clearance was evaluated by knee height, this condition seems to be based on the false assumption that students are sitting on a chair with a proper seat height. Finally, the proposed methodology for suitability evaluation of school furniture should allow for a more reliable analysis of school furniture.

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