Seating comfort and its relationship to spinal profile: A pilot study

Ram R. Bishu, M. Susan Hallbeck, Michael W. Riley, Terry L. Stentz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Scopus citations


Chair comfort is a subjective rating, comprising many factors which can be conceptually modelled. It was postulated that the overall comfort perceived by chair users is a function of the relative discomfort in various regions of the body and that the discomfort perceived in the lumbar region is a function of the spinal curvature. The results of two experiments are reported here. In the first experiment, five typical office chairs were evaluated in a field experiment using five subjects. The evaluation procedure used a general comfort rating scale, a body part discomfort rating scale, and a chair feature evaluation checklist. The results showed the body part discomfort ratings of the back regions to be critical in chair comfort. In the second experiment, three chairs were evaluated employing six subjects. The spinal posture of each subject was measured with a METRECOM ® digitizer while standing and seated in each chair type. The results indicate that the backrest curvature, and the thigh-trunk angle (included angle between the seat pan and the back rest) are critical for the overall chair comfort. The implications for the chair designer are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)89-101
Number of pages13
JournalInternational Journal of Industrial Ergonomics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Aug 1991


  • Seating
  • and spinal curvature
  • chair
  • comfort

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Human Factors and Ergonomics


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