The ergonomic design of classroom furniture/computer work station for first graders in the elementary school

Samuel A. Oyewole, Joel M. Haight, Andris Freivalds

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

62 Scopus citations


Children have been known to spend over 30% of their time at school. Most classroom activities involve sitting for long periods of time, with little or no breaks. Every effort should be made to ensure that young children do not experience back pain and other musculoskeletal disorders due to prolonged sitting on improperly designed classroom furniture. This paper proposes a methodology and guidelines for the design of ergonomic-oriented classroom furniture for first graders in the elementary school. The anthropometric measures of twenty first graders were used to develop regression equations for the furniture dimensions. The analysis of the relevant anthropometric measures such as stature, weight, body mass index (BMI), popliteal height, buttock-popliteal length, and hip breadth shows that stature and body mass index are important factors in the design of the classroom furniture. Adjustability was incorporated into the design in order to recommend the appropriate dimensions for the design of the classroom furniture. Based on the need to accommodate at least 90% of the population of first graders in the United States, this paper proposes furniture design dimensions for seat height (25.83-32.23. cm); seat depth (27.41-33.86. cm); seat width (17.91-23.29. cm); back rest (35.64-44.37. cm); arm rest (16.28-20.68. cm); and desk height (30.12-37.85. cm). This anthropometric analysis could be used to design ergonomic-oriented classroom furniture which would not only incorporate adjustability, but also improve the level of comfort for the intended users.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)437-447
Number of pages11
JournalInternational Journal of Industrial Ergonomics
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1 2010


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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