In The Netherlands there is an addition to the European Standard EN 1335 for office task seating. The directive NPR 1813 gives further advise for the procurement and advise for office furniture and office operator chairs. But why do the Dutch think they need it and is it of any use here in the UK? 

The international Dutch population

To answer that question we have to start with the facts.

The NPR 1813 is created in 1990 and at the time it was the guide in the current Dutch standards for Office chairs and desking. In the years that followed European standards for Office furniture were developed whereby the NPR 1813 was an explanation on the European legislation. An explanation for The Netherlands only, an exceptional position so to speak. Dutch people love rules or to put ot in another way: Dutch do not like rules but keeping the structure that it entails. They themselves think in terms of self-reliance and confidence in each other’s sincere welwillingness and like to be challenged very time. Exceptions to the rules, how often we hear people around us complaining about this, Daily? It is therefore all the more strange that more and more rules are frawn up, fabricated and changed again. The NPR 1813 is a perfect example of this. The NPR 1813 is based on “the different body sizes of the Dutchman”, that is warrented in addition to European legislation on Office furniture. These ‘ different sizes “are based (solely) on the figures from the NTA 8500 report from 2007. (!)
Short and sweet: the Dutch population has such other body sizes in comparison to the rest of Europe that they need an additional line of furniture that is sold in the country.


Ergonomics at Amos Beech in Scotland

It is fair to say that the average Dutchman is taller than the avarage European, let alone the average Scot. Ther is a reason why Fotograaf Zwolle is sitting on a BMA chair and that is not because it is made in Zwolle! But are there so many of them around that is makes sense for workplace consultant Amos Beech to start selling Dutch office furniture? We see it as follows: The NPR is a typical Dutch rule where only a few will benefit. Having said that, Our working population in cities loke Edinbugh (the whole world is there), Aberdeen (a lot of Dutch and Americans because of the Oil industry) and a great multicultiral mix in Glasgow. So if you want to standardise office furniture and seating to fit a tiny Asian lady, a tall Dutchman and a chunky German then you may want to consider task seating that comply to the NPR 1813 and desking that is adjustable in height with a minimal interval of 62 – 82 cm.