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The University Desk Chair: Examining the Impact on Learner Comfort and Ability to Focus

Joseph Kulka, Deborah Doherty, Sara F. Maher


A mismatch between furniture and body characteristics can cause musculoskeletal discomfort during prolonged sitting for adult learners. Sixty-seven university learners rated their perceived discomfort and ability to focus while using four common desk chairs. A desk chair with padding and a large frame was rated significantly highest in overall comfort. Participants reported significantly increased upper back pain when using a desk chair with minimal arm support. During periods of prolonged seating, desk chairs should accommodate various sized bodies and have cushioning. Upper extremity support is also recommended.

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ISSN: 21586195

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