Forget about ergonomics in chair design? Focus on aesthetics and comfort!
Chair users have difficulties distinguishing between chairs of different ergonomics quality. Many ergonomics features that are supposed to relieve discomfort in sitting are indistinguishable because they cannot be perceived. This is due to poor proprioceptive feedback from ligaments, joints and the spine. The joints are relatively insensitive to small changes in angle, and the spine cannot sense differences in pressure due to different body postures. Aesthetics features on the other hand, and features related to comfort and relaxation, are easier to perceive and differentiate. A study of ergonomics chairs verified that users could distinguish between parameters that relate to aesthetics and comfort, but had difficulty in distinguishing between ergonomics features. In the end aesthetics may be more important than ergonomics--at least to the customer who will be guided more by aesthetics than longer-term ergonomic factors.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: October 1, 2003