Anthropometry and design for the disabled: Experiences with seating design for the cerebral palsy population

D. A. Hobson, J. F.M. Molenbroek

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


In recent years increased emphasis has been placed on designing improved technical aids for physically disabled people. One limiting factor has been the lack of anthropometric resource data that is appropriate for use with individuals with specific disabilities, such as cerebral palsy. The purpose of this study has been to examine briefly why the anthropometric needs of disabled individuals may be different from able-bodied individuals, and to develop an anthropometric data resource that can be used in the design of seating and mobility devices for a specific segment of the disabled population. Ninety-four variables were obtained from each subject in a sample of 133 cerebral palsied individuals. Both qualitative and quantitative factors were assessed and measured, respectively. The qualitative factors are used to define the unique characteristics of the sample group. Twenty quantitative variables are analysed and the results presented in a tabular format. Eleven of the 20 variables are not available from existing able-bodied anthropometric sources, but were deemed important for use in the design process for the study population. The paper references a supplementary manual which contains the complete results, including descriptive statistical tables and scattergram plots. The paper also discusses the implications for application of the results, possible limitations of their use, and precautions that should be observed when considering extrapolations to other populations of disabled people.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-54
Number of pages12
JournalApplied Ergonomics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1990


  • Anthropometry
  • design
  • disabled people
  • seating

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