ergonomics is the science concerned with design, and arranging things people use so that the people and things interact most efficiently and safely (Merriam-Webster Online). though this is a practice most commonly applied in the workforce, interior design also embraces these practices. you may be asking, what does this have to do with events? in designing and hosting events, style and arrangement takes precedence - after all, there is a story to tell,and a look to achieve. how much could it matter if the chair is a tad too high for the table, or the side table too low for the lounge sofa, or the spacing between each guest’s chair is a bit too close for comfort. and what about the children, they can use an adult chair to sit at the table – it’s only a few hours. this is one way to rationalize, but what IF we can implement BOTH – aesthetics, comfort & safety (don’t we make provisions for our vegetarian guests in our menu selections?)? ergonomics have given us standard dimensions for furniture design, spacing and placement based on the average human adult figure. in part one of this post we will focus on sizing and placement of tables and chairs.
STANDARD HEIGHTS OF TABLES AND SEATS FOR CHILDREN
TABLE SEATING SPECIFICATIONS
here are just a couple more quick tips :
- in determining table size consider elbow room – there should be 24″ per person for a comfy fit. you should add 2″ to the figure if using armchairs and subtract 2″ for snug seating.
- in choosing between a round or rectangular table (including square), keep in mind that round tables blend in easier with other furniture pieces and also allow for easy movement around them.
- a depth of 15″ to 18″ is recommended for most adults. using a seat that is too deep will press against the back of the legs of your guests; and, having a seat that is too shallow will make them slouch forward.
- chairs used for dining should have an average height of 16″ to 17″, and the table height should be 29″-30″ – allowing approximately 13″ for knee clearance.
- bar stools have an average height of 28″-30″, with an accompanying cocktail table or bar that is 40″ – 45″ high.
what’s that main idea here? no one is suggesting that we run around with a tape measure sizing up every piece of event furniture we select, but should the opportunity arise that you have options in the selection of your event pieces – optimize your event by pairing furniture selections that come closest to the dimensions of our bodies as they relate to the furniture and it’s function. here a couple more images of how some of our expert event designers, planners and clients use some of our rental collections to implement these practices.