A new standard launched for office desks has come into force, which will ensure tall people can sit more comfortably at their office workstation.
Levent Caglar, FIRA International’s chief Ergonomist, has been working on the new standard, which launched 1 July.
For the past two years, Levent and the European office furniture standards committee (CEN TC SC3 WG2) have been studying the sizes of Europeans and compiling data to drive a revision of the current industry standard for desk dimensions.
The results of the study found that over the past 30 – 40 years, people have been increasingly growing taller; however, the industry standard for desk dimensions has not accommodated this change. Instead, people have been working at desks designed to standards based on the estimated sizes of people in the 1970’s, meaning that the body sizes of today’s workforce does not match that of their office workstation. Being 180 cm (6ft) tall might have been rare in the 1970’s, but now you have to be 190 or 200 cm (6 ft 4) to be noticed.
Levent Caglar said, “Taller workers have dealt with the constant struggle of having their legs hitting the underside of the desktop, knees knocking into structural beams and the inability to stretch their legs without hitting an obstruction such as modesty panels or under desk CPU mounts. However, with the new standard for office desk dimensions coming into force, this is set to change.”
The previous office desk/table standard, BS EN 527 Part 1:2000, has now been revised with the new standard, BS EN 527-1 2011. Full details of the new standards for office desks are available on the FIRA website
The revised standard means that any desks bought or designed for an office environment will now have to comply with a new set of height, depth and legroom dimensions. The revision requires larger legroom and greater ranges of adjustability.
The standard provides dimensional requirements for four types of desk/tables; those which are fully adjustable; height selectable; fixed height, as well as a type where only very limited adjustability is provided.
Manufacturer, SBFI Ltd, is the first manufacturer to produce desks to comply with the new standard. Their Axess-Ergo range of dealer desks offers all four types of desk included within the revised standard and they are fully compliant with the new standard.
Commenting on the SBFI Ltd, Axess-Ergonomic range Levent Caglar said, “SBFI, a leading dealer desking manufacturer, have always worked closely with FIRA’s Ergonomics Unit to keep them informed of the latest developments in ergonomics. This approach has enabled them to design and manufacture, not only a premium product but a product, which complies with the latest standards.”
FIRA’s Ergonomics team have been fully involved with this new standard and can offer immediate ergonomic evaluation to this new standard.
For full details of the revised standard, please click here