Comparative study on design and functionality requirements for senior-friendly furniture for sitting
Abstract: Furniture manufacturers’ response to the demographic challenge of aging nations is an important issue. The number of seniors is rising worldwide. The aging process often results in multiple health implications, including weaker mobility, decrease in muscle mass, and change in anthropometrical dimensions of the human body. Thus, the furniture offered should be adjusted to the needs of an increasing group of senior customers. To identify seniors’ preferences in relation to characteristics of sitting furniture, international surveys with 627 respondents aged 60+ years were conducted in Poland, Germany, Denmark, Finland, Latvia, and Lithuania. The implementation of this data in the design process may result in creation of the market offer meeting seniors’ needs. Design and functionality features were examined to provide guidance for senior-friendly development of furniture for sitting. Among the most important findings is the clear preference of having an armchair with the high backrest reaching above the head, a chair with armrests and an upholstered backrest and seat. Furthermore, respondents paid attention to the durability of furniture, stain resistance of upholstery, and adaptation of the furniture to the user’s dimensions, e.g., having influence on the height and depth of the seat before the purchase.
Keywords: functionality / senior / seat / backrest / furniture for sitting / adaptation / surveys / preferences
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