What is a DIN standard?
A DIN standard is a standard drawn up at the German Institute for Standardisation (DIN) in Berlin that sets unified standards for products and processes, such as quality, minimum performance, characteristics, dimensions, etc. Interested parties, such as manufacturers, consumers, trade, research institutes or authorities, can participate in the development of DIN standards in committees. There are currently around 33,000 Standards worldwide.
German standards have become increasingly internationalised in recent decades. For example, a standard is now called DIN EN if a European standard has been adopted by the German Institute for Standardisation. Or DIN EN ISO if it is an international standard that is also a European standard. Accordingly, DIN ISO is a standard that is valid internationally and in Germany; whereas DIN denotes a standard that has exclusively or predominantly national significance.
Where can I find DIN standards?
In many university libraries in Germany, national and international standards can be consulted via the Perinorm database. Some standards are also published in Germany by Beuth-Verlag in the series "DIN-Taschenbuch". DIN standards on various topics are summarised there. Otherwise, it is possible to purchase the individual standards documents from the standards institutions or from the associated publishers, for example from Beuth-Verlag or VDE-Verlag.
Is there a DIN standard for office chairs?
Yes, DIN EN 1335 is a standard that specifies dimensions, safety requirements and safety tests for office chairs. In Germany, it is decisive for the development of office chairs. The standard is based on a template from 1989 (DIN 4551).
For office chairs, this means that the ergonomic findings and developments of the last 25 years are not taken into account in this standard. Above all, the fact that the number of employees with back complaints is constantly increasing due to a rigid sitting posture in conventional work chairs has, however, led to the development of movement technologies for office chairs precisely during this time. Unfortunately, some of these new technologies cannot now be tested according to DIN EN 1335. This means that modern office chairs currently have to comply with outdated standards.
For example, one of the regulations in DIN EN 1335 states that the lowest seat height of an office chair must be 420 mm. This makes sense for people with short legs or short heights. However, the average height of employees has increased steadily in recent years. Thus, for people with a body height of about 170 cm or more, a seat height of 480 mm or more is recommended, if possible in combination with a higher desk. Although this no longer complies with DIN regulations, it has great advantages for the back health of employees.
What is good, but not easy for implementation, is that a company management is not forced to adhere to DIN EN 1335 when selecting work equipment. The standard is only considered a recommendation or minimum requirement for the protection of employees. The health and long-term performance of employees should be the primary consideration when choosing the right office chair - not the standard. A responsible employer will therefore not force an employee who gets back pain when sitting on a conventional office chair according to DIN EN 1335, but whose health situation improves when sitting on a non-DIN office chair, to sit on a DIN-compliant office chair.
Does the Aeris Swopper comply with the DIN standards?
Yes and no. The Aeris Swopper in its original form does not have a backrest and therefore does not comply with DIN EN 1335. Therefore, consumers occasionally have to deal with the above-mentioned factual situation: current developments come into confrontation with outdated regulations. So although many employees experience an improvement in their back problems by sitting on the Aeris Swopper, companies that see the DIN standards as a regulation and not as a recommendation only allow them to use the Aeris Swopper in exceptional cases. However, the Aeris Swopper has the GS mark according to EN 1022 and EN 13671 for office visitor chairs and can therefore be used at all workplaces without hesitation.
DIN standards for active seats, such as the Aeris Swopper, do not yet exist. Therefore, there is also no official test procedure according to which the Aeris Swopper could be tested according to its specific characteristics. So far, there is only DIN EN 1335 for conventional office chairs. The state of the art is therefore far ahead of the DIN standards.
With the development of the Aeris Swopper with backrest and castors as well as spring leg type Low (Aeris Swopper Work) and also with that of the active office chair Aeris 3Dee, both of which have been certified as office work chairs according to DIN 1335, Aeris has accommodated all those employers, safety engineers and company doctors who would like to provide their employees with the latest movement seating technology, but at the same time also want to be in line with the catalogue of standards.
Active Office®: Why offices make us sick and what to do about it, Josef Glöckl and Dieter Breithecker, Springer Gabler Verlag, 2014