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The seat refers to an area that a living being sitting on its buttocks or a bird "sitting on" can use.

Bronze Seated Boy (1956) in Berlin's Erich-Weinert-Strasse, in the background a free seat.
Lotus position, seat on a stone.
Sitting dogs
Bird perched on one hand

Social significance of the seat

Sitting is of particular importance in the symbolism of rule and service: the ruler sits while the servant is obliged to stand. The throne of a ruler is designed as a seat, usually increases, so that the ruler dominates the subordinates in a sitting position.

Even today, being able to take your seat near an important person is sometimes seen as a privilege . Even the right to be able to take a seat in certain situations or the ranking of sitting down is sometimes treated as a privilege.

The practice of jurisprudence is also referred to as “ sitting in court ”, although in earlier times only the higher-ranking personalities (at least the judge (s )) were allowed to take a seat. It is still often frowned upon for the lawyer or public prosecutor to remain seated during his formal speeches to the court, for example when making a plea . The judge rises from his seat at the pronouncement of the judgment before speaking the opening sentence of the judgment.

In chargeable event locations, seats are classified differently; for "better" seats, higher entrance fees , participation fees , etc. are often to be paid than is the case with the so-called "free choice of seats ". Seating is usually more expensive than standing room .

Giving up one's seat completely or temporarily (e.g. getting up, letting a lady sit down, etc.) is a necessary and externally visible form of courtesy or courtesy in some social situations . Likewise, only to sit on their seat when asked to do so, or to offer a (good) seat to a guest , a higher-ranking, elderly or mobility-impaired person.

Forms of seats

Seats on a tram

The simplest form of the seat is the free area that offers enough space to sit.

Seats are defined and regulated , for example, in means of transport or at event locations ( concerts , sporting events ) and at workplaces by law or by means of standards. Seats can also exist next to or on means of transport (for example agricultural vehicles, forklifts , forklifts, etc.). In this context, these are usually seats as workplaces in the narrower sense.

In event locations today, chairs of various shapes are usually used for seating , depending on the requirements (e.g. indoors or outdoors, variably movable or firmly screwed, with or without backrests / armrests, etc.). Standing as a financially favorable alternative is often opposed to sitting.

Throne of the Holy Roman Emperor, Aachen Cathedral.

Seats can therefore (examples):

Design of seats

In a technical world, public seats and those in companies for employees must be designed in such a way that they enable the people transported, waiting, observing, etc. to stay safely. There must therefore be sufficient space for seating and, if required and appropriate, suitable support, protection or restraint devices (e.g. in vehicles) must be available.

Minimum area

The minimum space for seats is determined according to requirements. Various factors are taken into account to calculate the number of permitted seats. For example, areas for

deducted. In the case of vehicles, certain areas are also not included:

Meeting places

The maximum number of people permitted and therefore also the number of seats per meeting place depends, among other things, on the existing emergency and escape routes , the maximum size of the meeting place, number of meeting rooms / places, type of event, ventilation system , fire protection restrictions, size of the sanitary facilities Etc.

Exceptions are often made in the statutory provisions for rooms or buildings dedicated to worship , classrooms in schools , seminar rooms in universities and the like, exhibition rooms in museums and sometimes for temporary structures .


Ground vehicles

The number of seats and standing places for ground vehicles is usually based on the structural conditions, the vehicle's payload , the traffic routes , the height of the interior and the dimensions and arrangement of the door openings (and emergency exits ) through which the transported persons can get off quickly have to be. Exceptions are often provided for vehicles used by the military , civil defense , fire brigade , police , customs and the rescue service.


In the case of watercraft , the maximum number of people and thus also the number of seats, e.g. B. according to the structural conditions, the load capacity of the vehicle and in particular the existing rescue equipment (e.g. number of existing lifebuoys , lifeboats, etc.).

Restraint devices / protective devices in vehicles

Restraint devices or protective devices (e.g. safety belts or other suitable restraint devices, lifebuoys, etc.) must be provided in vehicles according to the number of seats, the approved transport vehicle, the route, etc.

Protective and restraint devices for each seat must be designed and arranged in such a way that they can also be used by the persons transported ( adults , children ).

Temporary seating and folding seats

Temporary seats can exist in those places where folding seats ( emergency seats ) are available or can be set up. Folding seats are emergency seats intended for occasional use, which are normally folded down and in which the space in the folded state of the seat, depending on the structural conditions, e.g. B. can also be used as standing room or for other purposes.


Legal meaning of taking a seat

The voluntary occupation of a seat can mean the conclusive acceptance of a contract if, according to custom, it is usually signaled that a service of the provider is to be used (e.g. in the garden the obligation to consume only with the innkeeper; with a paid concert, the use of the seat to enjoy music, in the cinema, etc.).

Reservation of seats

The reservation of a seat usually means that a certain seat is no longer available for further sale. The seat reservation can therefore lead to the fact that in the event of a late cancellation costs are legitimately charged even though the seat (the service) is not used.

The rebooking (e.g. from a more expensive to a cheaper seat) can also result in costs if this rebooking is made too late and the previously reserved seat can no longer be resold.

Standards (examples)

  • DIRECTIVE 2001/85 / EC OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of November 20, 2001 on special regulations for vehicles for the transport of passengers. (PDF)
  • Germany: EN 13200 / DIN 13200 (spectator systems).
  • Austria: EN 13200 / ÖNORM EN 13200 (spectator systems).
  • Germany: DIN 33408-1: 2008 03 (body outline templates - Part 1: For seats).
  • Austria: ÖNORM EN ISO 14738: 2009-05-15 (Safety of machines - Anthropometric requirements for the design of machine workplaces) - (ISO 14738: 2002)
  • Austria: ÖNORM A 8010: 2010-07-15 (on the ergonomic design of office workplaces - basic influencing factors and determination of space requirements)
  • Austria: ÖNORM EN 13796-1: 2007-08-01 (Safety requirements for cable cars for passenger traffic - Vehicles - Part 1: Attachments to the rope, drives, safety brakes, cabins, chairs, wagons, maintenance vehicles, towing devices).


In the case of companies , associations and other organizations , the seat (e.g. company headquarters ) is understood to mean the delivery address at which the company management, the association management, the management of the organization, etc. can be found. See also registered office (legal person) .

See also

Individual evidence

  1. Germany see Ordinance on Places of Assembly .
  2. See for example Germany: EN 13200 / DIN 13200 (spectator systems) / Austria: EN 13200 / ÖNORM EN 13200 (spectator systems).
  3. See for example (Austria): ÖNORM A 8010: 2010-07-15 (on the ergonomic design of office workplaces - basic influencing factors and determination of space requirements). ÖNORM EN ISO 14738: 2009-05-15 (on the safety of machines - anthropometric requirements for the design of machine workplaces) (ISO 14738: 2002 + Cor 1: 2003 + Cor 2: 2005).
  4. The standing area is conceptually contrasted with the seat, cf. Wolfgang Müller, The dictionary of counter words: a contrasting dictionary with instructions for use , de Gruyter, Berlin 2000, ISBN 3-11-016885-5 , p. 476 .
  5. See for example: Ordinance of the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Economic Affairs on the construction and operation of places of assembly (Places of Assembly Ordinance - VStättVO) of April 28, 2004 (Journal of Laws p. 311); Ordinance on the construction and operation of special buildings (Sonderbauverordnung - SBauVO) in North Rhine-Westphalia , GV. NRW. 2009/34; Hamburg: Ordinance on the construction and operation of places of assembly (Places of Assembly Ordinance - VStättVO) of August 5, 2003 (HmbGVBl. P. 420); Lower Saxony Assembly Ordinance (NVStättVO) of November 8, 2004.
  6. See z. E.g .: Annex I, No. 7.11.2. DIRECTIVE 2001/85 / EC OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of November 20, 2001 on special regulations for vehicles for the transport of people with more than eight seats in addition to the driver's seat and amending Directives 70/156 / EEC and 97/27 / EC ( OJ L 42 of 13 February 2002, p. 1).