A kitchen design must suit your lifestyle and you need to be able to move around it comfortably. If you are undertaking kitchen renovations or remodeling, consider an ergonomic kitchen layout that will assist you to increase productivity and efficiency. An ergonomic kitchen will support good work flow and ease of cooking.
The image above shows a wall oven and microwave placed at an ergonomic height.
A few things to consider to help with ergonomics include:
1. Ensure that everything you need to use is within reach and at the right height; this includes the position of appliances. Including a wall oven in lieu of an under bench oven where possible minimises straining your back for example. Positioning a microwave at the right height for you to reach in an out without bending is another consideration.
2. Benchtops should be at an appropriate height for those using the kitchen – taller people will require benches that are higher than the standard 900mm.
3. Overhead cabinets, particularly over the cooktop need to be high enough so you don’t bump your head while cooking, but not too high so the effectiveness of any extraction appliance is not compromised.
4. Other considerations include cupboard handles – ensure that handles have the right grip for those using the kitchen or perhaps install a touch mechanism.
5. Tapware is also important, flick mixers are easier to use, especially for those suffering from arthritis.
6. Kick board height also varies depending on the user. Some prefer approximately 150mm, whilst others like the kickboards lower. Kickboards should be recessed in kitchen work areas to prevent “kicking” the bottom of the cabinets and to help with cleaning.
7. Lastly incorporating drawers where possible, including inside pantries allows the user to pull out items without having to bend down and reach into the cabinet. Including pull-out units in corners also minimises the need to bend down and reach.
There are lots of items to consider when designing an ergonomic kitchen, keep those using your kitchen in mind and reflect their height and special requirements in the kitchen design.