Group changes ergonomic guidelines

Because of the increasing size of North American workers, the Business and Institutional Furniture Manufacturers Association is revising its ergonomic guidelines for computer workspaces.

“Our customers, and therefore our industry, face constant change in today’s workplaces including new technologies, new ways of working and an increasingly diverse workforce. As a result more employers are pursuing ergonomically sound office environments as a means to improving health, safety and productivity,” ergonomics subcommittee chairwoman Lucy Hart said in a statement. “Up-to-date standards and guidelines are vital resources that guide our industry and our customers on this journey.”

The association undertook revision of BIFMA G1-2002 in 2009, using new civilian anthropometric data that reflects changes in the size and shape of the North American working population. The changes included increased seat width, distance between armrests, support surface height for sitting and standing, and height clearance for legs and knees.

The association is also developing a heavy occupant chair standard, using 253 to 400 lbs. as the basis for testing.

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