Anthropometric and Postural Variability: Limitations of the Boundary Manikin Approach 2000-01-2172
Human figure models are commonly used to facilitate ergonomic assessments of vehicle driver stations and other workplaces. One routine method of workstation assessment is to conduct a suite of ergonomic analyses using a family of boundary manikins, chosen to represent a range of anthropometric extremes on several dimensions. The suitability of the resulting analysis depends both on the methods by which the boundary manikins are selected and on the methods used to posture the manikins. The automobile driver station design problem is used to examine the relative importance of anthropometric and postural variability in ergonomic assessments. Postural variability is demonstrated to be nearly as important as anthropometric variability when the operator is allowed a substantial range of component adjustment. The consequences for boundary manikin procedures are discussed, as well as methods for conducting accurate and complete assessments using the available tools.