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Comparison between ANSI/BIFMA X5.1 2011 vs 2002

New BIFMA Chair Standard

Micom Laboratories is happy to inform you that BIFMA just released its new version of BIFMA X5.1  for office chairs.  The loads and forces used in this standard are based on the 95th percentile male body mass.  This value went from 225 lbs, in the previous edition, to 253 lbs in the new edition and the population’s body mass increases. Your chairs will have to be re-tested for the following tests as they changed:

  • Base test: the stems inserted in the base to hold the casters are now required for support: the stress distribution will be changed considerably.
  • Swivel cycling test: Load on sample while cycling increased
  • Seating impact test : The drop height was increased from 25mm to 30 mm (1″ to 1.2″) which yields a higher impact force on the seat. Same test bag mass as before with some slight modification to the bag (metal ring on the top part).
  • Rear Stability test : New test completely different from the previous version. Similar to ISO 21015. The test is now performed using a stack of disks rather than a monolythic mass. For type III chairs the test forces applied to the highest disk varies with seat height. Results to date seems to demontrate that the test is more difficult to comply with than before for type I and II chairs.
  • Arm strength test – Vertical : Only pull down is now allowed; no push down. The forces were reduced from 200 to 169 lbf (functional) and from 300 to 253 lbf (proof) .
  • Caster/chair base durability test : increased load
  • Footrest Static Load Test (new)
  • Footrest durability cyclic : Additional deflection parameters introduced for the first 500 cycles.
  • Out Stop Tests for Chairs with Manually Adjustable Seat Depth: increased load.

For a complete test-by-test comparison please follow this LINK

BIFMA is currently working on updating its BIFMA X5.4  standard which should be released in 2012.

For more information about these new services and our coating testing services, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Micom is a third party material testing laboratory accredited by the Standards Council of Canada, CGSB and ISTA.


All of the information and opinions contained in this blog are made with the information, and the understanding that we have reviewed at the time of publishing.  However, despite our efforts, we do not offer any guarantee of their accuracy, thoroughness of our investigation or validity. The author of this blog is not liable for any inaccuracies or any losses or damages that may result from the use of the information or data contained herein. This blog has not been reviewed or verified for its accuracy by any peer group associates prior to publication.

Michel Comtois

Michel Comtois is an accomplished founder and CEO of Micom Laboratories Inc., an ISO/IEC 17025 (2017) A2LA-accredited independent laboratory specializing in product and material testing services. Before establishing Micom Laboratories in 1999, Michel, who also holds a Master’s degree in Physical Chemistry, gained extensive experience over a 14-year tenure managing departments spanning physical chemistry, physics, mechanical and material testing in research and contract laboratories. This exposure granted him a profound understanding of the intricacies of development and material testing processes.

In addition to his practical experience, Michel has played influential roles on various voluntary technical committees. He notably, served as the chairperson for CAN/CGSB 44.227 and the Head of the Canadian Delegation for ISO TC 136. He also contributed to the following technical committees: CAN/CGSB 44.229, CAN/CGSB 44.232, ANSI/BIFMA X5.1, ANSI/BIFMA X5.5, ANSI/BIFMA X5.6, ANSI/BIFMA X 5.9 ANSI/BIFMA X5.11, ISTA Certification Council.

Leveraging his unique expertise, he has led Micom Laboratories to become a renowned name in its niche, now operating out of a 16,000-square-foot test facility in Montreal, Canada, and serving a diverse customer base with an array of material and product testing services. Follow Michel on LinkedIn

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