As the office ergonomics is essential at workspace, so do the kitchen ergonomics plays important role for the safety and physical fitness of a person spending hours in kitchen.
Usually when family decides to renovate or construct a kitchen, they spend long time choosing right
colors of the wall, shelves, gadgets, tiles, sinks, tapes etc. but they forget the importance of
measurements, placement, correct utensil choice, proper lighting, and floor selection.
As kitchen is the place, which is in everyday use in all homes, and in most part of the world, women are responsible for all the cooking, baking, and cleaning chores. And women account large number in having many common aches and pain. Also in my clinic we receive many chefs coming with various musculoskeletal problems.
How kitchen can leads to physical injury, aches and pains ?
There are various factors in kitchen which leads to many musculoskeletal issues.
1. Awkward postures
2. Repetitive movement of small and big joints
3. Traction and compression force injury
4. Long duration of task
Listed factors can be eliminated if a kitchen is properly designed and one has basic knowledge of
ergonomics to avoid injury. For example while chopping and cutting on kitchen platform, there is
continuous wrist and hand movement, if a person is cutting and chopping with wrist in extreme flexion or extension, it leads to carpal tunnel syndrome, sever wrist pain. Tennis elbow, etc. And if the platform height is not appropriate it can lead to repetitive injury in back and shoulders too just by doing continuous chopping and cutting activity every day.
Ladies who are more involved in baking in large scale or in regular basis, have chance of getting traction and compression injuries if they are not aware of correct way of holding and carrying various things in the kitchen.
Simple posture assessment followed by postural correction technique can make many women more
active and much happier in kitchen if they are pain free and out of any musculoskeletal injury risk.
Things to check around in your kitchen.
Work center – avoid back and forth walking, choose centre area to work
Storage units – accessible as per your requirement
Work surface heights and designs – for correct posture while working in kitchen
Comforting Floor– for easing long working hour in kitchen
Lightning of kitchen – lights should be sufficient
Control panels – should be easily accessible.
These are some quick tips what you should check in your kitchen. Kitchen ergonomics is as important as office ergonomics. Correct space around your kitchen and stay fit.
Author: Dr. shubhangi Gaikwad, Senior Physical Therapist, Dubai
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