Developing a Multi-Criteria Decision Making approach to compare types of classroom furniture considering mismatches for anthropometric measures of university students

PLoS One. 2020 Sep 17;15(9):e0239297. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0239297. eCollection 2020.


The mismatch between students' anthropometric measures and school furniture dimensions have been investigated in many countries. In Iran, collegians spend at least a quarter of the day hours at university in the sitting position, so it is essential to evaluate furniture mismatch among university students. In Iranian universities, the use of chairs with an attached table is widespread, while the study of mismatches in these chairs among the collegian community is rare. This study was aimed to compare and rank different classroom furniture types based on the mismatch between collegians' anthropometric measures and the dimensions of classroom furniture among Industrial Engineering students by developing a Multi-Criteria Decision Making approach in an integrated Methodology. The sample consisted of 111 participants (71 males, 40 females). Ten anthropometric measures were gathered, together with eight furniture dimensions for four types of chairs. Mismatch analyses were carried out using mismatch equations, and the Simple Additive Weighting method was used as a base method to solve the decision-making problem. The results indicated that Underneath Desk Height and Seat to Desk Clearance showed the highest levels of the match, while Seat Width presents the highest levels of low mismatch. According to the results, Type 1 and Type 3 were the best current classroom furniture. The Sensitivity Analysis was performed in two ways: changing the weights of criteria in nine scenarios and comparing the results with five other MCDM methods. The proposed MCDM approach can be used widely in furniture procurement processes and educational environments.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Algorithms*
  • Body Weights and Measures / statistics & numerical data*
  • Decision Making
  • Equipment Design / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interior Design and Furnishings / standards*
  • Male
  • Students / statistics & numerical data*
  • Universities*
  • Young Adult

Grants and funding

The authors received no specific funding for this work.