American National Standard for Office Furnishings – General Purpose Office Chairs – Tests
for evaluating the safety, durability, and structural adequacy of general-purpose office chairs.
General-purpose office chairs are normally used in an office environment and may include, but
are not limited to those seating styles typically referred to as: executive/management,
task/secretarial, side/guest chairs, nesting folding chairs, tablet arm chairs and stools.
This standard describes the means of evaluating general-purpose office chairs, independent of
construction materials, manufacturing processes, mechanical designs or aesthetic designs.
This standard does not address lounge seating, flammability, surface material durability,
cushioning materials, product emissions, or ergonomic considerations.
The standard defines specific tests, the laboratory equipment that may be used, the conditions
of tests, and the minimum acceptance levels to be used in evaluating general-purpose office
chairs. The acceptance levels and test parameters given in this standard are based on the
actual field use and test experience of BIFMA members. Where appropriate, the National
Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) 2007-2010 study, which indicates the
weight of the 95th percentile male is 125 kg (275 pounds), was used in the development of the
tests. This does not mean that users with weights above the percentiles referenced cannot
safely or comfortably use a chair developed to a given BIFMA standard. (See also Appendix E).
The tests were developed with an estimated product life of ten years based on single-shift
usage. Product life will be affected by user size/weight, product use, care and maintenance,
environment, and other factors, and, as such, product compliance to this standard does not
necessarily guarantee a ten-year product life.
The tests in this standard are intended to assess the performance of new products only. They
are not intended to assess a product that has been in use.
ISO 17025 requirements for measurement uncertainty do not apply to this standard.