Ergonomics at Home

During the first 6 weeks of KKT active healing, or 36 hours after your KKT maintenance services, do not plan on spending long hours cooking large meals, washing dishes, sweeping floors, cleaning windows or vacuuming for more than 3 minutes at a time. Most domestic related pain, injuries or discomfort are related to bending, twisting and awkward positions.

5 helpful tips for your kitchen work tools:

  1. Keep knives sharp to reduce the need for extra force or application.
  2. Use blenders and food processors to reduce repetitive motion.
  3. Use tools that fit your hand. Utilize grips on knives and other utensils to reduce hand fatigue.
  4. Handles should be:
    • Perpendicular to the line of action.
    • Be as long as the length of your palm.
    • Have a non-slip surface.
    • Be thick enough that it allows you to use a grip that keeps the wrist straight.
    • Textured to improve grip and hand force.
  5. Heavy tools and cookware should have two handles.

Remember

  • Avoid static positions.
  • Minimize reaching by organizing your work environment effectively.
  • Use a step stool to avoid reaching above shoulder height.

Suggestions to help reduce or eliminate discomfort you experience while working in the kitchen:

Work Surface Height

To accommodate the different tasks carried-out in the kitchen and the people performing them, countertops should either be adjustable or at varying heights to minimize stooping over or shoulder elevation. For tasks requiring close visual inspection, position the surface height so that hands are slightly higher than elbow height and below shoulder level. For most tasks, the work surface should be slightly below elbow height. Work requiring force, such as kneading bread, rolling dough, or cutting bones, should be done on a surface that is below elbow height. For countertops that are lower than desired, try using a chopping block to increase the height of the working space.

Floors

Standing on a hard surface for an extended period of time can ‘tire the legs and pain the feet’. A cushioned floor surface such as cork or linoleum can help reduce the impact on the body. If your floor is made of tile or an equally hard surface, try using a cushioned rug to reduce the impact on the body.

Storage Space

Store frequently used accessories in the top drawers just beneath the counter or on the bottom shelf of the cupboards just above the counter. For floor-level storage space, opt for drawers rather than cupboards. This way, you won’t need to bend over to look for whatever is stuck at the back of a cupboard.

 

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