One of the challenges that educators face in selecting and purchasing student chairs is the ergonomics of them; just what design will result in the children being comfortable in their student chair, and therefore more attentive in class across the whole day?
This challenge is compounded by the sheer range in which children sit in those chairs. Some children will sit upright in them as standard, but others will stretch out, lean backwards, sit on the chair cross legged, and so on. It’s important that whatever furniture you purchase will be flexible enough to remain ergonomic no matter how the student sits in the chair.
Understanding the ergonomics of a student chair
There are a huge range of factors to consider in student chairs, including the size of the chair itself – studies show that over 80 per cent of school furniture is not properly fitted for the children using it.
But for the purposes of this article, we’re looking specifically at back flex. Back flex on a student chair is important in allowing the student to sit in the chair as he or she would like. Sitting posture begins to be developed at around age 7 – so just about every student needs to have furniture properly designed to suit their seating style.
Researchers now understand that it’s more important than ever to have a range of seating that “moves”, both side-to-side and forward-to-back. At the same time, it’s important that the “give” is subtle enough to help encourage students not to develop bad habits – it’s important to balance it so the five allows the student a comfortable position without allowing them to slouch in it.
That “give” is also important in the context of modern teaching environments. Where once furniture would be designed to focus the student’s attention directly forward, now will often move around the classroom, complete projects in small groups, and turn their chairs to face their peers, rather than forward. So, giving the chairs the flexibility to be used in all learning contexts is also of critical importance.
To learn more about flexible student chairs and improving the ergonomics of your classrooms, contact the team at Abax Kingfisher, the leaders in education furniture in Australia.