NPR 1813: thanks to the practice guideline, ergonomic office chairs for everyone

In surveys and studies, average height and weight measurements are calculated for the inhabitants of Germany. But what about the people who do not correspond to the average? If they work in an office – how should they sit ergonomically? DIN EN 1335:2000 states that office swivel chairs should have a fixed height and seat depth.

NPR 1813: thanks to the practice guideline, ergonomic office chairs for everyone

But in view of the fact that 15.5 percent of all people are already overweight, this poses an enormous problem. The chairs just don’t fit for them! The same goes for those who are smaller and / or lighter than average. And if the workplaces are changed frequently in the context of desk sharing, you quickly have a problem.

The DIN EN 1335:2000 (video)

According to DIN EN 1335:2000, the seat height of an office swivel chair must be between 40 and 51 centimeters, the seat depth must be between 38 and 44 centimeters. The entire seat must not be less than 40 centimeters wide. It is prescribed that the chairs must be suitable for people with a body weight of up to 100 kilograms.

For the calculation of these values, it was assumed that an average-sized person is between 1.51 and 1.92 meters tall. However, there are quite a few people who do not exactly correspond to these dimensions. They are significantly smaller or larger – basketball players and “Size Sero”–After all, models have to come from somewhere – and above all, often much harder.

A normal office swivel chair can be broken all too quickly with an overload, especially the suspension and the castors do not work for long under too high a weight load.

However, the employer is obliged in Germany to provide suitable office furniture for the employees. The main focus is on ergonomics, because sitting should not only be comfortable, but above all healthy. The office swivel chairs must therefore – as well as the desks – be adapted to the body dimensions. This is especially important in the context of modern office concepts.

But where to take from and not steal? This is what many company owners ask themselves when they want to equip an employee with office furniture technology. The wrong furniture in the office endangers both the safety and the health of the employees. One solution is offered by the NPR 1813, which regulates the size of the Dutch work chair.

Video: ERGONOMICS at the WORKPLACE / Sitting & Standing Correctly (Guide)

Office furniture according to the practice guideline NPR 1813:2009

People in Germany can join the Practice Guideline NPR 1813 orientated to the Netherlands. Here it is regulated how the perfect office swivel chair should look like. The demands on office furniture are significantly higher here in the Netherlands than in Germany.

On average, people in the neighbouring country are larger – but in some cases also smaller due to the constant immigration. Tall Frisians live here next to smaller Asians – the average would be somewhere in the middle. Would the German DIN EN 1335 if applied, only about 50 percent of the entire Dutch population would fall into the appropriate sizes – the rest would have to cope with office swivel chairs that are not suitable.

There is therefore the so-called Dutch work chair. This is much wider in terms of its dimensions and should be adjustable in height from 41 to 55 centimeters. According to NPR 1813, the seat depth must be between 38 and 48 centimeters. Both larger and significantly smaller people can sit comfortably here. In addition, of course, the focus is on the weight of the employees: the Dutch work chair also carries a higher weight better.

Progress also in Germany

Also in Germany, the manufacturers of office furniture have realized that people are far from all corresponding to the average. The requirements for perfect office furniture therefore now go beyond DIN EN 1335.

There is the BGI 650 guideline in this country, which assumes a seat height of between 40 and 51 centimeters, the recommendations even go to a height of up to 53 centimeters. The seat depth should be between 40 and 42 centimeters, a span width of 37 to 47 centimeters is recommended. The recommendations are therefore much broader in their dimensions.

In any case, the setting options are important. The office swivel chair must be perfectly adjustable in height. As a rule of thumb, the legs must be placed side by side on the floor and the angle between the upper and lower legs should be about 90 °. Of course, no one keeps their legs in this position throughout the day, but at least they should have the opportunity to do so.

However, ergonomic working is only possible in the interaction of an office chair and a desk. Therefore, there are always calls for more customizable desks. The tables that have been on the market so far can often only be adjusted insufficiently in height and inclination and are also not suitable for people who fall out of the grid of the average German.

New manufacturers and offers take into account the NPR 1813 (video)

Many manufacturers of office furniture have recognized the trend and now also offer office swivel chairs that are ergonomically perfect and yet fit for people who just do not correspond to the average.

There are also some new manufacturers on the market who have designed their own product ranges in XXL and thus serve exactly the market that has not been noticed so far. However, it must be said that this furniture is still far from being a standard and if you want to re-equip an office, you must certainly first look for the innovative providers for special requests.

Some suppliers have specialized in office swivel chairs that must withstand special requirements. These chairs, for example, offer armrests that are adjustable in width.

This makes it easier to get into the chair. For people who suffer from stiffening of the joints, there are extra versions. They „Osteoarthritis chairs“ have seat widths of up to 50 centimeters. Especially overweight people will also find what they are looking for in the new models. The chairs are very robust and can also withstand a weight of up to 300 kilograms.

Overall, the Supplementary Directive or Directive NPR 1813 clearly about the DIN EN 1335 addition. Therefore, the designers of the office furniture adhere to the recommendations rather than to the regulation set out in the DIN. It should be noted that the overall trend is more towards the massively adjustable office chair.

This takes into account the fact that more and more people are falling out of the average grid. Of course, there are also ergonomic office chairs for average grown people, which make daily work more pleasant and exclude health and safety risks.

But the adaptation of the guidelines to the practical guideline NPR 1813 of the Netherlands is long overdue, because: who already corresponds to the average?

Video: The 7 best ergonomic office chairs

Office chairs that comply with NPR 1813

Last but not least, we would like to list some current models of office chair manufacturers that comply with the supplementary Directive NPR 1813. Of course, the list does not claim to be complete.

  • HAG Futu 1020 Futuknit
  • rohde & GRAHL xenium-duo back
  • rohde & GRAHL xenium-basic
  • Inwerk Marum
  • Inwerk Almere
  • EasySit® office chair (design by vottelerdesign)
  • mono-balance® office chair
  • Mera office swivel chair model XS-XL NPR mer74

Photo Credits: © clarita

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