Ergonomic Suitability of Kitchen Furniture Regarding Height Accessibility
It is possible to significantly ease kitchen chores with properly sized and appropriately arranged cupboards. In designing kitchen furniture and the optimal depth and the height of storage capacities, accessibility should be taken into consideration. It is known that the optimal storage zone is between 800 and 1100 mm and that there is reduced visibility and accessibility at the level between 1400 and 1700 mm, which is even more prominent for the elderly. This suggests that wall cabinets are not recommended for the elderly. The aim of this study was to determine to what extent kitchens manufactured by Slovenian furniture manufacturers are suitable for users of different age groups with regard to the accessibility of goods stored in the cupboards. Furthermore, based on the measurement analysis, recommendations are provided for designing kitchen furniture that would meet the needs of the elderly. The study, carried out using a computer simulation model, analysed the products of three Slovenian kitchen manufacturers. The cross section of accessibility in the wall cabinets was determined for different age groups of men and women. The results show that the efficacy of the volume in wall cabinets higher than 600 mm, in comparison to places where objects are easily reachable, is 30% lower for women, thus indicating the inefficiency of storage space in wall cabinets. In terms of accessibility, existing kitchens are not optimal for the elderly, and a model with a deeper worktop and wall cabinets lowered onto the worktop is proposed. Accessibility in such wall cabinets is increased by up to 70% if the body is moved forward by 30°.
: furniture, dimensions, ergonomics, anthropometry, kitchen, elderly, design, inclusive design
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