New Office Chair Standard Approved

An update to the BIFMA office seating safety and performance standard has been approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). The 2017 edition of ANSI/BIFMA X5.1 (General-Purpose Office Chairs – Tests) is now the approved standard for product testing in this classification.

Taking nearly three years to complete, the BIFMA Subcommittee for Seating Standards conducted a series of reviews of the draft proposals to ensure the tests were sound. Revisions include tests based on the 95th percentile male now weighing 275 lbs., testing considers flexible materials for the backrest strength test, and the standard now offers a new equipment locating option for front stability testing. These revisions as well as several other changes ensure that the ANSI/BIFMA General-Purpose Office Chairs standard is the most relevant product test standard for this seating category. This national consensus standard was finalized and approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) on February 2, 2017.

The X5.1-2017 standard defines the specific tests, laboratory equipment, conditions of test, and recommended minimum levels to be used in the testing and evaluation of the safety, durability, and structural adequacy of General-Purpose Office Chair products.

Copies of the new standard are available from BIFMA immediately. This and other standards may be ordered online at:


BIFMA is the not-for-profit trade association for business and institutional furniture manufacturers. Since 1973, BIFMA has sponsored the development and refinement of current and future furniture standards, educates on their importance and application, and translates their necessary complexity into more easily understood formats. BIFMA also monitors the state of the industry, serves as a forum for member cooperation and collaboration, interacts with international counterparts, and advocates for regulatory conditions that foster value and innovation.