Objective comparison of two cushions: pressure distribution and postural perceived discomfort

Iolanda Fiorillo, Y. Song, Rosaria Califano, P. Vink, Alessandro Naddeo

Research output: Chapter in Book/Conference proceedings/Edited volumeConference contributionScientificpeer-review

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Designing seats is crucial not only for health issues but also for the (dis)comfort perception. The seat pan design could be mainly influenced by two factors: pressure distribution and seat contour. For seat pan discomfort, the lower average pressure is accompanied by less discomfort. Moreover, a seat contour with a large contact area is correlated with more comfort. So, a shaped seat pan was accurately realized following the buttock-thigh shape of an international population (including P5 females and P95 males). For the comfort assessment, a comparison was made between this shaped seat pan (shaped cushion) and a standard aircraft seat pan (flat cushion). Twenty-two international
participants (11 males and 11 females, with BMI between 16 and 30) took part in the blind experiment assuming six different postures. Subjective data were gained from questionnaires, whose results showed that the shaped cushion is better in terms of perceived postural comfort. Also, 64% of participants chose the shaped cushion as a preferred cushion because it was more comfortable and suitable for the buttock shape. Objective data were gathered with a pressure mat, and results showed a higher contact area and lower mean pressure distribution for shaped cushion. Significant correlations were calculated between objective and subjective data with Spearman Correlation coefficients.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationComfort Congress 2021
EditorsNeil Mansfield
Place of PublicationNottingham, UK
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Event3rd International Comfort Congress 2021 - Nottingham, United Kingdom
Duration: 2 Sept 20213 Sept 2021


Conference3rd International Comfort Congress 2021
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom


  • Seat-pan
  • Human-centre-design
  • Pressure map


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