The new EN1335 Standard for office chairs

Big news for office chairs!
The EN1335 standard was “updated” at the end of 2020, with the publication of the new edition.

For those unfamiliar with this normative, here you can find some tips on the 1335 standard, and in particular on ergonomics and the “repercussions” in terms of health and well-being in the workplace.
More than ten years after the previous edition, the reference standard for office chairs EN1335: 2020 introduces new evaluation criteria and above all a new classification of chairs.
The change was quite necessary to adapt to the average anthropometric variations of the population on one hand and on the other to the new materials used in the chairs.
In particular, since the use of breathable mesh in the backrests has now become prevalent, a new method for measuring the backrest was approved in ISO (International Standar Organization), that is, at an international level and not only at European level.

The 1335: 2020 edition includes 4 classes of office chairs indicated with the initials Ax, A, B and C which we will briefly describe below.

It derives from class A of the old NPR1335 standard, i.e. the office chair standard previously in force in the Netherlands.
It is a class of chairs designed mainly for the markets of northern Europe, where people can be both particularly tall and particularly small.
Class Ax chairs must offer very important component adjustment ranges (height adjustment, seat depth adjustment, armrest adjustment).

The real news and the main challenge for most of the office chairs industry in Europe is represented by the chairs in class A. Compared to the previous edition, the changes foreseen for these chairs are so important to the point that some countries (such as Germany) have postponed its application for some YEARS, effectively extending the validity of the old standard for this period.
It will take a lot of resources and efforts for our industry to obtain compliancy to this new standard, which requires more performing components coordinated in a more precise configuration.

For example, the new class A chair must offer at least 13 cm of seat height adjustment, but the minimum seat height must be at least 40 cm. To meet this requirement, a very performing gas lift will be needed, precisely coordinated together with the base and wheels in such a way as to fall within the minimum quota foreseen.
The same applies to the armrests, the seat (with an adjustment of 70 mm in depth!) and for the anti-tip tests.
In essence, the new EN1335: 2020 class A chair is a super chair that requires a well defined set of more performing components.

Class B is more or less equivalent with class A of the previous EN1335, and therefore, apart from some adjustments related to the new evaluation methods, the chairs in class A of the “old standard” should be homologated in class B of the new one.

The last category, class C, is about executive or more simple office chairs and in any case provides for new adjustment parameters with fewer restrictions and adjustment than the previous ones.
In this case there is a certain continuity with respect to class C of the previous edition of the 1335 standard.

In summary we can say that the new edition of 1335 has two classes, B and C, in continuity with the previous edition, one class, Ax, which incorporates the “old” NPR standard (especially required in Netherlands) and finally a big news, class A, which represents a new, more qualified standard of office seating.
The required adjustment ranges have changed, the test methods have changed and the strategies of chair manufacturers will also change due to the need for a more systemic approach; for example the use of suitably designed kits, rather than the assembly of different components for mere economic convenience.

SbS has always been at the side of office and contract chair manufacturers for the development of value-added solutions.
In this situation our Technical Department is able to help chair manufacturers in identifying the most suitable kit that comply with the new legislation.
At the same time, our catalog has been and will soon be enriched by a series of new items (mechanisms, gas lifts, bases, armrests, seats) of the new generation, more performing and suitable for the new requirements, in particular those related to the new class A.

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