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Product Design Anthropometrics and Ergonomics

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Presentation on theme: "Product Design Anthropometrics and Ergonomics"— Presentation transcript:

1 Product Design Anthropometrics and Ergonomics
These icons indicate that teacher’s notes or useful web addresses are available in the Notes Page. This icon indicates that the slide contains activities created in Flash. These activities are not editable. For more detailed instructions, see the Getting Started presentation. 1 of 25 © Boardworks Ltd 2005

2 Learning objectives Learning objectives
To consider the anthropometrics of potential end users when designing a product. To ensure that products being designed are ergonomically suitable for a range of user groups. To become familiar with anthropometric terminology. To be able to place users in a percentile range. To be able to carry out some empirical anthropometric research. Learning objectives The Ergonomics 4 Schools website at includes guidelines for product design, information about human anthropometrics and suggests activities to complete. 2 of 25 © Boardworks Ltd 2005

3 Background on anthropometrics
If a product is going to be successful and meet the needs of the user group, product designers must use specific information about the user group, such as their dimensions and physical characteristics. The dimensions of the human body are called anthropometrics. This word refers to the actual measurements of body parts, e.g. the length of an arm or the width of a foot. Anthropometrics are vital to product design because they are one of the key product criteria that designers use when developing solutions.

4 The study of anthropometrics
The word anthropometrics takes its root from two other words: Anthropology Metric Anthropology is the study of humankind. Metric describes the universal unit of measurement. When they are combined, they mean the study of human measurements.

5 The study of anthropometrics

6 Using anthropometric information
You must decide which group of people your product is aimed at. Anthropometric information is provided in tables and divided up into different ages, gender and nationalities. SO… you need to know who you are designing for! A design for an executive office desk for use in the USA would need to take into account the anthropometric data for working adults from America. A children’s keyboard must have keys sized for children’s fingers.

7 Using anthropometric information
Work out which body measurements are important. It is vital to know which parts of the body your product needs to accommodate. If you are designing a chair, what anthropometric information will you need? Buttock to popliteal length Buttock width Popliteal height

8 Using anthropometric information
Are you designing for smaller, average or larger people? No two people have exactly the same dimensions but we all fit into one of three categories – depending on your dimensions, you will fall into the 5th, 50th or 95th percentile range. Most people appear to be a similar height. These people fall into the 50th percentile range and are considered of average height. A small percentage of people are shorter than this majority – this group is known as the 5th percentile. Others are taller than most people and belong to the 95th percentile. 5% of the population are smaller than the ‘average’ person and 5% are bigger than the ‘average’ person. About 90% of the population are considered average.

9 Using anthropometric information
Look at the people around you now. Let’s carry out some empirical research. Arrange yourselves into gender groups (female and male). Within the gender groups, arrange yourselves into height order. How many people are ‘average’ and how many are significantly taller or shorter? Could you plot individual heights on the graph and draw a line through them? Does it look like the graph on the previous slide? If not, are there any obvious reasons why? Tallest 1.85m Shortest 1.5m Frequency Average 1.68m The table on slide 24 could be used to record the information before plotting a graph.

10 Anthropometric constraints
It’s important to think about whether to use the 5th, 50th or 95th percentile anthropometric data. Consider the following design scenarios and discuss why the particular range has been used. Designing a car dashboard 5th percentile measurements are used so that smaller people can reach the instruments easily. Designing an aircraft seat 95th percentile measurements are used so that larger people can sit in the seat.

11 Anthropometric constraints

12 Anthropometrics of the hands

13 Anthropometrics of the head and neck

14 Anthropometrics of the lower body

15 Anthropometrics of the upper body

16 Anthropometrics for seating

17 Ergonomics is the relationship between a product and its user.
What is ergonomics? The word ERGONOMICS comes from the Greek language: ERGOS = work NOMOS = natural law Ergonomics is the relationship between a product and its user.

18 Ergonomics Ergonomists study products, systems and environments and how they fit with their users. As a product designer, you will need to consider how well a product meets the ergonomic needs of its user group in performing a task. If the relationship between these aspects in the circle is weak, the product is ergonomically unsuitable. How would a specification, a product analysis and anthropometric data be useful in this scenario?

19 Bottle case study

20 Using ergonomics in the home
Designing a kitchen When designing a kitchen, there are several principles which are essential to stick to: The work triangle. For a right-handed person, the sequence of activities must allow movement from left to right from the sink, to a work surface, to the cooker (in that order). Tall cupboards, doors, routes through the kitchen and passageways should not interfere with the work triangle. The work triangle must not measure more than 7000mm (7m) for medium-sized kitchens. Using the activity on the next slide, create a kitchen layout based around an ideal work triangle.

21 Designing a kitchen The appliances and units can be dragged and dropped onto the kitchen plan. They can be positioned in any order and once the appliances/units are positioned (they don’t all need to be used), the check button should be pressed. The design is then checked and the work triangle measured. If the work triangle measures more than 7m in perimeter length, the work triangle is too large and the design fails. If it is under 7m in length, it is deemed to be suitable. It is deemed to be suitable if the following rules are adhered to: For a left-handed user, the sequence must be right to left. Sequence must be sink, preparation/work surface, hob. The fridge can be at either end of the sequence but not interrupting. Routes through the kitchen , doors and passageways should not interfere with the sequence. For a right-handed user the sequence is reversed, moving from left to right: sink, surface, hob. Routes through the kitchen, doors and passageways should not interfere with the sequence. Discussion could focus around: Is the layout practical – does it make best use of the space? Where would the students add cupboards or other appliances?

22 Car seats The pedal is too far away for the ergonome’s feet to reach it. Moving the seat forward may remedy this. However, the steering wheel may then be too close to the body.

23 Designing a chair The same chair is being used by a 50th percentile person, a 5th percentile person and a 95th percentile person. How could the design of the chair be improved to suit all three people?

24 Plenary Students can select their own anthropometric measurements and type them in as headings in the four gaps next to the name cell, e.g. popliteal, hip breadth, arm length, etc. They can then measure a sample of people and fill in the data and use it for project work/activity. They can copy and paste this slide into other Microsoft documents (by pressing Print Screen when in slide show mode) for their own empirical research.

25 Key points Anthropometrics is the study of body measurements and statistical data concerning the sizes and shapes of the population. Ergonomics is the relationship between a product and its users. All people fall into the 5th, 50th and 95th anthropometric percentile range. User group, posture, clearance, reach and strength are all important factors in anthropometrics and ergonomics. Key points 25 of 25 © Boardworks Ltd 2005


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