Comparison of anthropometric dimensions of preschool children and chairs in kindergartens in North Macedonia, Bulgaria and Croatia.Heliyon. 2023 Mar; 9(3):e14483.H
The mismatch the kindergarten furniture dimensions with the children's anthropometric, as well as the design of non-ergonomic kindergarten furniture, potentially affects inappropriate body positions, and thus potential low back pain when sitting in later human development. The aim of this study was to examine the anthropometric measurements of preschool children and compare them with the dimensions of the preschool chairs in kindergartens in North Macedonia, Bulgaria and Croatia, in order to perceive the current situation and suggest improving for kindergarten furniture design. 848 children in 27 kindergartens participated in the research. A total of 36 types of chairs was found and measured. Children's upper leg length, popliteal height and hip width were measured and compared with the three main chair functional dimensions according to the EN 1729-1:2015. The main value of this research is the comparative data obtained, which indicates that there is a significant difference between preschool chairs and children's dimensions in some groups, but that the results cannot be generalized since they refer to a specific kindergarten population. In reality, it will never be possible to satisfy all dimensions of children and furniture, primarily due to the existence of (too) tall and (too) short children in certain groups. A further recommendation is to introduce a systematic measurement of preschool children at the beginning of the new school year and thus harmonize their anthropometric dimensions with the furniture.