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Updated BIFMA Ergonomics Guideline Now Available

Thursday, March 14, 2013  
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March 14, 2013

Performance and Comfort of Computer Users in North America is Enhanced by the Updated BIFMA Ergonomics Guideline

Office Furniture Ergonomics Take Into Account the Increasing Size of North American Workers

Grand Rapids, MI – The BIFMA G1-2013 Ergonomics Guideline provides dimensional guidance to office furniture manufacturers in the development, design, and specification of ergonomic solutions for computer workspaces in North America.

"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,” said Lucy Hart, Certified Ergonomist with The Global Group and Chair of the BIFMA Ergonomics Subcommittee. "Up-to-date standards and guidelines are vital resources that guide our industry and our customers on this journey.”

BIFMA undertook revision of BIFMA G1-2002 in 2009, using new civilian anthropometric data. The new data reflected changes in the size and shape of the North American working population and resulted in a number of G1 recommended dimensions and adjustment range changes. The dimensional changes included increased seat width, distance between armrests, support surface height for sitting and standing, and height clearance for legs and knees.

"Proper application of the BIFMA Ergonomics Guideline will enhance the performance and comfort of computer users,” said BIFMA Technical Director, David Panning. "The more intensive the computer usage, the more important adherence to the Guideline becomes.”

Heavy Occupant Chair Standard in Development
BIFMA is also developing a Heavy Occupant Chair Standard. The BIFMA Chair Standards Subcommittee is developing the new standard for office (and possibly lounge) chairs with 253 to 400 lbs. as the basis for the tests. This standard will pick up where the X5.1 Seating Standard (up to 253 lbs./95th percentile male) leaves off regarding user weights.

BIFMA is the not-for-profit trade association for business and institutional furniture manufacturers. Since 1973, BIFMA’s role has been to sponsor the development and refining of current and future standards, educate on their importance and application, and translate their necessary complexity into more easily understood and implemented formats. BIFMA also monitors the state of the industry through its statistical program, serves as a forum for member cooperation and collaboration, interacts with international counterparts, and advocates for regulatory conditions that foster value and innovation.

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