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Tabarak Abdulhussein

English 210
Texas A&M University- Qatar
Major Project 2
Measuring TAMUQ student satisfaction with the
wooden chairs

Executive summary
The objective of this report is to prove that there is a link between how comfortable
students feel while using TAMUQ wooden chairs and their proposed level of
efficiency. Data collection is divided into two sections. The first section involves 96
TAMUQ students participating in a survey while the second section involves
measuring one of the dimensions of the chairs to see if whether its ergonomic or
not. A research was also conducted to investigate the different properties that make
a good ergonomic chair. The results of the research, survey, chair dimensional
measurement and the analysis proved that the wooden chairs are not ergonomic.
This fact justified the reason why students experience physical pain (neck, back
pain, etc) while sitting on them and why their productivity decreases while
studying. The recommendation of this report is to replace the wooden chairs into
ergonomic chairs as soon as the budget of Qatar Foundation allows.

Table of content
Introduction

Discussion:
Criteria
Seat measurement
Survey results
Overall data analysis
Wordle
Costs
Conclusion and recommendation
Used websites

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Introduction
Ergonomics is described as the study of peoples productivity in their working
environment. The purpose of ergonomic furniture is to facilitate task performance and
decrease fatigue. Individuals and especially students sit for a prolonged period of time,
which puts stress on the lumbar area eventually leading to many health problems.
One of the alarming issues that TAMUQ students face is the lack of ergonomic chairs in the
library and classrooms. Therefore, the purpose of this report is to prove that there is a
direct correlation between using the right ergonomic chair and the students proposed
level of productivity.

Discussion
Criteria

A chair is only considered ergonomic if it meets the persons body dimensions. For a
university, it is impossible to have an ergonomic chair that would fit the body dimensions
of every student. As a result, this section establishes criteria that shows the properties of
good ergonomic chairs and compares them with the current wooden chairs of TAMUQ.
However, please note that the properties are not listed according to their importance.
Table 1: Properties of good ergonomic chairs

Property

Adjustability
Backrest
Arm rests
Seat material
Swivel

Description of the property

Property met by
TAMUQ wooden
chairs
The height of the chair should adjustable. Property is not
The right adjustability results in arms met.
even with the height of the desk; thighs
are horizontal and feet flat on the floor.
The backrest can be adjusted vertically
Property is not
and horizontally and it should have
met.
lumbar support. The lumbar support
should also be adjustable.
The arm rests should come with
Property is not
adjustable heights so that the shoulders
met.
are relaxed while the elbows and the
lower arm rest casually.
To ensure comfort, the material on the
Property is not
seat and the back should have enough
met.
padding.
Should be able to rotate
Property is not
met.

Seat measurement
The seat of an ergonomic chair is supposed to have a slope of zero. However, it was found
that the seat of the wooden chair was inclined by 37.12 cm below the horizontal, which
leads into back pain. In addition to a non-zero slope, the lack of lumbar support in the
lower back leads into back pain, neck pain and headaches.
Survey results

Ninety-six TAMUQ students participated in a survey monkey that took place on the first of
April 2015. The purpose was to reflect on the level of students satisfaction with the
wooden chairs. Figures one to three reflect the results of the key questions.

Number of hours

Figure 1

Estimated hours per day using the wooden


chairs

1 to 2
3 to 5
5 to 8
other

0.00%

20.00%

40.00%

percentage of the answered students

60.00%

Respone of the students

Figure 2

Does the design of the chair impact your ability


to focus in a positive or negative way?

Positive

Negative

0.00%

Student's response

Figure 3

50.00%

Percentage of the answered students

100.00%

TAMUQ wooden chairs help me focus on my


studies(duirng lecture, studying in the
libraray,etc)
Agree

Undecided

Disagree

0.00%

20.00%

40.00%

60.00%

Percentage of students response

80.00%

Overall data analysis


According to table 1 and the seat measurement, it can be said that the wooden chairs are
definitely not ergonomic, The seat of the chair is kind of at an incline to the horizontal. This
makes my butt slide completely into the chair even when I want to just sit on half of it. I often
find myself irritated by this because it makes me restless and unfocused to sit completely into
the chair. (Student comment from the survey)

As shown in figure 2, 55.79% of students use the wooden chairs for 3 to 5 hours per day. A
period of time that is long enough to cause a series of physical pain, I usually have to bend
my head to read in a cubicle... So it's either my neck or my back (Student comment from the
survey). The lack of the different properties of ergonomic chairs leads into many health
issues. One property that can be referred to is the backrest and more specifically the lack of
lumbar support. The lumbar spin of the human body has an inward curve where setting for
a prolonged period of time leads into slouching of the spine and finally strains its structure.
Eventually the student may suffer from a curved back. These physical consequences
explain why 81.25% of students find the wooden chairs uncomfortable. And also highlight
why 72.63% of students cant focus on their studies while using the chairs (figures 2 and3),
Comfortable chair = less distracted , more focused = more productive studying (Student
comment from the survey).
Wordle

From the survey monkey conducted, a comment box has been added at the end where the
respondents were asked to add any comments they have about the wooden chairs. Thirtyfour responses were collected and filtered through Wordle as shown below. As seen, the
most frequently used word is uncomfortable which reflects the fact that the majority of
the student body agrees on the fact that the wooden chairs are not comfortable.

Costs
The original objective of this section of the report is to draw a comparison between the unit
cost of the wooden chairs and the wooden cost of an ergonomic chair. However, the only
party that knows the costs of the wooden chairs is Qatar Foundation. Upon going to the
building operations of TAMUQ, the person who continued ordering the wodden chairs no
longer works for TAMUQ. Therefore, the unit cost of the wooden chair was not found.
However, I have personally decided to go visit shops that sell ergonomic chairs and
examine which is most suitable. My search ended up with two options. The first option is
the chair for the classrooms. It is highly unlikely to have ergonomic chairs in the
calassrooms given that their unit cost is very high and they would be needed in lage
quantities. Therefore, the picture named classroom chair below shows the most suitable
option. On the other hand, a better ergonomic chair was picked for the library given the low
quantity needed and their essential need. Below is a table that shows their costs.
Classroom chair
Library chair

Unit cost
475 QR
575 QR

Table 2: unit cost for the classroom and library investigated chairs

Classroom chair:

Library chairs:

Conclusion and recommendation


A healthy workplace is created when the working environment increases peoples
productivity and decreases fatigue. The results of this report along with the analysis prove
that the chairs are not ergonomic and students experience physical pain and lack of
efficiency. Therefore, the workplace of TAMUQ library and lectures is not healthy.

The only solution to the problem is to replace the chairs. The chairs are not going to fit
every student. However, following the ergonomic chair criteria in table 1 should lead into
sufficient ergonomic chairs.

Used websites:

http://blog.ergonomicofficechairs.com/ergonomic-office-chairs-2/are-you-sittingproperly/
http://www.ccohs.ca/oshanswers/ergonomics/office/chair.html
http://www.spine-health.com/wellness/ergonomics/office-chair-choosing-rightergonomic-office-chair
http://www.ncsu.edu/ehs/www99/right/handsMan/office/ergonomic.html
http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebitesize/design/resistantmaterials/designanal
ysisevaluationrev3.shtml
https://ehs.okstate.edu/modules/ergo/What.htm