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Anthropometry: The science of measuring people

Copyright 2006 David A. Wheeler, Ph.D. ACMT.Last Updated: 3/2/06 20:20 Email Link

The office furniture is like a tool used by office workers. - Lori Brumfield

Reach:  When designing for reach, design for the 5th percentile of the user population.

Clearance: When designing for clearance, design for the 95th percentile of the user population.

Be sure to take into account any clothing or other gear the user will be wearing while carrying out the task.



Class Exercise:  Does your chair and desk fit you?
1.    Measure the following items on your workstation.  Use metric system for all measurements (1 inch = 2.54 centimeters).
    a. Distance from floor to top of seat where knee would be:
    b. Distance from floor to bottom of desk where knee would be:
    c. Distance from top of seat to top of desk where elbow would be:
2. For each person in your group, measure the following dimensions:
    a. Popliteal height, sitting (12)
    b. Knee height, sitting (10)
    c. Elbow rest height, sitting (8)
    d. Heel height of shoe
3.  Calculate the percentile of each group member for each of the dimensions.
4.  Answer the question for each of the dimensions, "Is the workstation designed properly"

Sample table:
Anthropometry of Workstation
Name Popliteal Height chair      Knee Height  desk     Elbow desk  
  with shoes (cm) ok?  without shoes (cm) % with shoes (cm) ok? without shoes (cm) %  (cm) ok? %
PersonOne 45.5 No 41.5 26% 57 Yes 53 51% 10.5 No >95%




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