Contact us

Ergo reports




Env. Design




Ergo humor

Search site

About us

File readers


Humanics Ergonomics

Hard Facts (Sitting and seating)


Table of Contents  |  Order  |  Ergonomics Payoff  |  History of the office   (2MB pdf)

Anthropometrics for adults, children & disabled  |  Definition  |  Seating  |  Humor

The case for (and against) movement for its own sake: Ergonomics review

More sitting & seating  |  Sitting postures workshop and slides


Book review

Ergonomics seating book Hard Facts about Soft Machines the ergonomics of seating, publisher Taylor & Francis

Enlarge image

’Look Inside’   |  Contents  |  Order  |  Credit card orders

Hard Facts About Soft Machines: The ergonomics of seating
Edited by Rani Lueder and Kageyu Noro
December 1994
457 pages, incl. illustrations
Taylor & Francis publishers: London & N.Y.
ISBN 0 85066802 6

Review published in the July 1997 issue of Ergonomics in Design, The Magazine of the Human Factors & Ergonomics Society (p. 34).

Reviewed by Joy Ebben, Ph.D.

This advanced compilation of 33 seating chapters includes authors from Denmark, England, Japan, Korea, Norway and the United States. The book, which is organized in 13 parts, is a must-read for anyone working in the specification, research, or design of seating. Those who focus on back pain should read parts 5 (back pain) and 6 (biomechanics) and chapter 31 (lumbar motion in seating). Anyone teaching about or using anthropometric modeling should read Roebuck’s discussion of anthropometric methods and overcoming limitations. A chapter on the classification of physical disabilities and another on seating for pregnant workers should appeal to a wide range of readers.

Significant evidence is provided to support the use of forward seat pan tilt and greater than 90° torso/thigh angle, two concepts that have been slow to catch on. This collection also exposes Western readers to a number of novel seating concepts and investigations including mood states and seating in schools. Seating standards and legislation are also covered.

The book provides an excellent resource for seating research methodologies, specification, allocation (e.g., expert systems) and data presentation. However, a number of important graphic illustrations are difficult to interpret because of confusing symbols and poor legibility, which significantly reduces their usefulness. Readers should not judge the book based on the quality of the first chapter; it is not representative of the many high-quality chapters that follow.

The editors could have discussed in more detail conflicts presented in the research to encourage more critical thinking by the reader. If there is to be a volume 2, I suggest they include chapters that specifically address seating in industrial environments and more on cost/benefit aspects of seating design.

In summary, an excellent advanced book providing a multi-cultural perspective on seating.

Joy Ebben, Ph.D., CPE, is the human factors and ergonomics specialist for IAC Industries (Brea, CA). She focuses on the design and evaluation of workstation environments.


The case against movement for its own sake  |  Ergonomics review

Table of Contents  |  Order  |  Ergonomics Payoff  |  Office history   (2 MB pdf)

Anthropometrics for adults, children & disabled  |  Definition  |  Seating  |  Humor


Certificant, Board of Certification in Professional Ergonomics

Reach us Privacy & Copyright Valid Ergonomics XHTML 1.0 Transitional
©Humanics Ergonomics