Cross Cultural Comfort (05-06-21)

Vink and colleagues have thoroughly studied how physical comfort is evaluated in different countries. They report that “A questionnaire was sent to participants out in nine countries (Brazil, Canada, the USA, China, Indonesia, Thailand, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands). . . . All countries score the comfort of a luxurious bed higher than a simple bed, first-class seats higher than economy class and all countries rate the comfort lower when the duration of sitting increases. The study suggests that in the USA and Canada softer beds, hammocks, more luxurious seats and softer pillows are scored as more comfortable compared with the other countries. There are indications that China and Germany prefer a harder mattress than in the other countries. For pillows, the differences between countries are large, which might show that much is influenced by habitude or hesitation to use something new. The Asian countries score the comfort of a brace neck pillow higher.”

Peter Vink, Shabila Anjani, Sumalee Udomboonyanupap, Golnoosh Torkashvand, Thomas Albin, Symone Miguez, Wenhua Li, Christian Reuter, and Amalia Vanacore.  2021. “Differences and Similarities in Comfort and Discomfort Experience in Nine Countries in Asia, the Americas and Europe.”  Ergonomics, vol. 64, no. 5, https://doi.org/10.1080/00140139.2020.1853248