Anthropometric evaluation for primary school furniture design

Joanne W Y Chung, Thomas K S Wong


Musculoskeletal symptoms are one of the top ten health problems among schoolchildren in Hong Kong. Whether or not these symptoms are related to school furniture has yet to be determined and published data on furniture size are lacking. The purpose of the study was to determine whether the design of furniture in schools is appropriate for children's anthropometry. A total of 214 volunteer subjects were recruited. This constituted 90% of the total number of primary 5 and 6 students in the studied school (i.e. those aged 10 and 13 years). The data collected included demographic information, data on perceived health and posture and body and furniture measurements. The girls' BMI was lower than that of the boys. The girls had longer lower limbs and wider hip breadth measurements in the standing position. This was similar in the sitting position. Almost none of the subjects had a chair with an appropriate seat height. Seat depth was found appropriate for large groups of students whether or not a large or small chair was used. Recommendations on the sizes of chairs and desks for boys and girls are discussed.


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