A comparative study of three different kinds of school furniture

Jens Aagaard-Hansen, Annette Storr-Paulsen

44 Citations (Scopus)


Several studies indicate that the ISO standards for school furniture seem to be inappropriate, and there is increasing evidence that the inclination of the seat should be forward and that it should be possible to adjust the table-top to a certain non-horizontal angle. However, these studies have predominantly used objective measurement methods on adult subjects for short-term experiments in rather artificial surroundings. By means of structured interviews registering the school children’s perception of ergonomic comfort, the present study has compared three types of school furniture—the original ISO-standard type, and two different new types characterized by forward slanting seats and tiltable desk-tops, the main difference between the two being approximately 15 cm in the height of the chair as well as the table. The study showed that the highest of the two tilting types was perceived to be significantly better than the two others in terms of table height, chair height, reading position, back-rest, and global assessment. Likewise, the feature of a tiltable table-top was considered overwhelmingly positive independently of the height of the furniture. It is recommended that school authorities, producers of school furniture, and relevant medical personnel consider these results for alternative designs of school furniture. It should be kept in mind, however, that school furniture is only one among many factors in the multifactorial field of the back health of school children.

Original languageEnglish
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)1025-1035
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1995
Externally publishedYes


  • Comfort
  • School children
  • School furniture


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