Comfort Driven Redesign: The Case of Library Chairs
Lecture Notes in Mechanical Engineering
AbstractUniversity students spend most of their time in a sitting position. Prolonged sitting on ill-fitted furniture and the resulting lousy posture is making students having different musculoskeletal disorders and is strictly related to students learning outcomes. This study aims to improve postural comfort of chairs placed inside the Science & Technology Library at the University of Salerno. A previous study about these library chairs showed that the lumbar area was the most suffering part
... ile perceived (dis)comfort was dependent on time. Based on this, an ergonomic redesign and, consequently, manufacturing of the chair has been done. A perceived-comfort comparison between the library chair and the redesigned one has been performed. A statistical sample of 28 healthy students performed a 20-min experiment two times, alternatively on the library chair and the redesigned one. The 20-min experiment was divided into two 10-min tasks ("Reading & Writing" and "Laptop use") to simulate a study day. The participants' postures were acquired non-invasively using cameras and processed by Kinovea; questionnaires were used to rate the perceived subjective (dis)comfort. A procedure for improving an existing product through a comfort-driven redesign is proposed. Results showed the redesigned library chair lead on increasing postural comfort (particularly in the lumbar area) thanks to the new design and modifications.