Author(s): Helander MG, Little SE, Drury CG
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Abstract We used 3 psychophysics methods to determine perceptible changes in seat height, seat pan angle, and backrest angle using an experimental chair. In the method of adjustment, the chosen chair settings were affected by the initial setting. For example, a high initial setting of the seat height led to a high selected setting and a low setting led to a low value. The difference between settings was referred to as not noticeable difference (NND). The method of limits was used to determine acceptable chair settings using verbal limits such as "too high" and "too low." Using the method of constant stimuli, just noticeable differences (JNDs) were determined for chair height (1.5 cm), seat pan angle (1.2 degrees) and backrest angle (1.7 degrees). The corresponding values for NNDs and verbal limits were about twice as large: chair height (2.5 cm), seat pan angle (4 degrees) and backrest angle (3 degrees). NNDs and verbal limits are unobtrusive measures that are considered more valid than JNDs, which exaggerate the need for adjustability. The results have practical implications for the design of office chairs.
This article was published in Hum Factors
and referenced in Journal of Ergonomics