The Ergonomic Kitchen - 5 ways to make your kitchen more efficient
Last modified: 2019/01/04 | Approximate reading time 3 mins
Making dinner consists of twists, turns, dips and bends, and as a result, designers, architects and homeowners alike are beginning to pay attention to the ergonomics of the kitchen. The science of ergonomics leads to the encouraging of productivity, efficiency as well as control. Using a combination of appliances and fixtures with ergonomic design alongside proper room layout and planning, cooking and working in your kitchen can become comfortable.
As ergonomics optimize our movements and minimize strain put onto our bodies, performing everyday kitchen activities feels easier. Applying some simple ergonomic solutions can drastically change how the homeowner interacts with the stove, sink, oven and all other appliances. So, follow our tips to optimize the workflow of your home kitchen.
5 ways to make your kitchen more ergonomic!
1) Create Custom Counters
Rather than forcing your body to adapt to uncomfortable or abnormal standardized counter heights and sizes, consider installing counters at varying heights to serve different purposes. Install a lower counter for food preparation, and another counter at bar height for serving or resting dishes that aren’t currently being used. A rule to consider when choosing counter height is in relation to the height of your elbow. A kitchen often acts as a social center, and comfortably placed countertops offer your family and friends space to rest or cook alongside homeowners.
2) Install Comfortable Floors
source: Flickr, designbuildinhabit
In place of tile, stone or cement, it is important to have a kitchen floor that will absorb the weight you’re putting into it. Instead, use materials such as wood, rubber or cork, which are easier on bones and bodies in general. If you’re not looking to renovate your entire kitchen floor, you could placemats or small rugs in strategic or often-used areas, such as by the counter or sink. Make sure if you opt for this solution that rugs and mats come equipped with non-stick padding, as they may be unsafe without.
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3) Consider Details: Storage, Outlets, Seating
It is important to consider all the intricate details that make up your kitchen, including the placement of electrical outlets, seating, as well as storage options. Having one or two kitchen stools on hand is a standby solution, looking classic while remaining cozy and ergonomic. Consider installing a cross-bar underneath your countertop or island, where you can rest your feet while you’re seated and preparing food. Most people perch on a stool in a way that helps them balance and practice better posture.
Properly placed outlets are another excellent addition to an ergonomically-friendly kitchen. Instead of lugging appliances from one space to the next to be plugged in, consider installing a channel of outlets across the bottom of upper cabinets. Not only will they be out of sight and out of mind, but anytime you require power, they will be readily available.
Multi-tiered storage racks or storage racks located close to high-use areas make the most sense. It is important to store heavier items between hip and shoulder height to avoid overstretching, and medium weight items should never be stored higher than eye level. The lightest kitchen items should be stored in the most inaccessible places, as to avoid injury.
4) Pullout Shelves
source: Flickr, mastercabinetmaker
Pullout shelving in base cabinets is favoured over doored cabinets, allowing homeowners to see and retrieve their kitchen contents without having to duck under counters or crawl into cabinets to locate things. There are a lot of options available in pullout varieties, including pantry shelves, spice racks and appliance organizers. This style of shelving significantly reduces unnecessary bending, so consider it if you're tired of putting strain onto your back and body!
5) Kitchen Shape
Kitchens fall into a few dominant designs and don’t tend to vary all that much in modern homes. However, certain shapes work better than others and depending on the amount of space available to you, you should consider adopting one of the more ergonomic layouts to move around your kitchen in a smooth and efficient method.
A U-shaped kitchen is ideal, allowing for a layout that has an efficient working triangle. The space between surfaces can be properly divided to increase correct use of space, making activities like preparation and cooking easier while optimizing storage possibilities. Further, two people can work comfortably alongside each other without interfering.
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