University Classrooms and
Authors: Students' Compatibility
Abstract: This study aimed to assess the compatibility between students’ anthropometric dimensions and 9 school furnitures (5 chairs and 4 tables) available in the classrooms of the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Porto (FEUP). 206 students (131 males and 75 females) from different courses, with ages ranging from 18 to 35 years old, were measured by using both a stationary and a portable anthropometer. A set of 14 static anthropometric dimensions were collected. This enabled the creation of the anthropometric database of the faculty’s student population. Students’ majority (69.9%) reported feeling discomfort while using the classroom furniture. The interpretation of the obtained factor plans highlights not only a difference between genders, but also differences regarding the importance of anthropometric variables in the explanation of the perceived comfort. The results show that most of the chairs are incompatible with users’ characteristics, being noticeable a significant difference between fixed and adjustable type chairs. Likewise, when used with the chairs, tables also revealed significant incompatibilities. This study seems to indicate that classroom furniture is usually selected and acquired without due previous ergonomic concern, which often results in its inadequacy and mismatch with the end users anthropometric characteristics.
Keywords: Design, Applied Anthropometry, University, Mismatch.
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