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Appl Ergon. 2004 Mar;35(2):121-8.

Classroom furniture dimensions and anthropometric measures in primary school.

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Ergophysiology Laboratory, Department of Physical Education and Sports Science, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki 62100, Greece.


The purpose of this study was to compare students' dimensions to the dimension of school furniture, in primary school, and determine whether this type of furniture is well-designed and promotes good sitting posture at school by taking into account the dimensions of the children. A total of 180 (90 male and 90 female) students, from three primary schools in Thessaloniki, Greece, participated in the study. Their ages ranged from 7 to 12 years. The following human body dimensions were measured: stature, elbow height, shoulder height, upper arm length, knee height, popliteal height and buttock-popliteal length. In addition, the dimensions were measured for four different types of chairs and five types of desks prevalent in classrooms. Finally, the anthropometric measures of the students and the furniture dimensions were compared in order to identify any incompatibility between them. The data indicate a mismatch between the students' bodily dimensions and the classroom furniture available to them. The chairs are too high and too deep and desks are also too high for the pupils. This situation has negative effects on the sitting posture of the children especially when reading and writing.

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