An investigation of physical and subjective metrics for assessment of work chairs and tasks for seated operators

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University


A large segment of the office work force in the United States spends a majority of their work day seated in stationary chairs. Problems with postural fatigue and related maladies are commonly associated with the neck, arms, shoulders, as well as with different positions of the back.

This study was conducted in an effort to determine whether several metrics for general posture and comfort evaluation were viable specifically for work chair evaluation. These techniques were a modification of a posture measurement technique developed by Corlett, Madeley and Manenica (1979) known as Posture Targeting. In addition, three subjective rating scales were used.

MANOVAs were performed on the data. Both task-type and chair-type were found to significantly influence the posture and subjective responses of the subjects in the study.