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It has been a long time coming, but it is now widely recognised that it makes good sense to have domestic kitchens designed in line with ergonomic principles. An ergonomically designed kitchen makes everyday tasks simpler to perform and provides maximum ease of use for the customer.

The most crucial piece of information when designing an ergonomic kitchen is the size of the person who will be doing the majority of the work in it. The working height is adapted to that of the individual, so the user does not have to hunch over whilst preparing and cooking food.

It is extremely important to have the work surface at the correct height, which must be adapted to the individual size of the kitchen’s “main worker”. The height should be 15 to 20 cm below the person’s elbows. This dimension is recommended for most of the work carried out in the kitchen. Of course, there are other types of work, such as kneading dough and other strenuous activities, which require a different dimension: these should be done at a height of 20 to 30 cm below the elbows. Whether you plan in a separate area with a lower work surface for carrying out such activities will depend on your individual preferences and on the available space. Many kitchen users prefer the work surface to be a consistent height, as it looks better, and to do the really physical stuff at the dining table. Alternatively, you could go for an infinitely height-adjustable table at which to stand or sit, which can be integrated into your kitchen plan. If you have the space, it also makes sense to have a work surface that is deeper than 60 cm. With a depth of 75 cm, for example, the rear part of the work surface could be used to store small appliances or gadgets, thus making particularly small work surfaces larger.

Base units with fixed shelves are difficult to see into and to access, so you should avoid using them wherever possible. Always design base units and larder units with pull-out sections, as they offer the best view and way of accessing the entire contents. These types of unit make it easier to get to all the foods you use on a daily basis.

All appliances should be installed at the height at which the user would naturally reach out, making them extremely easy to operate and to keep an eye on. However, if this well founded recommendation is followed, you will need to install a large number of larder units in your kitchen and not every kitchen has the floor space required for so many cupboards. If this is the case, you must decide which appliances are used less frequently than others and banish them to base units.

Corner units enable you to utilise corner areas which are difficult to access and provide additional storage space. Particularly highly recommended are corner units that give the user a clear view of their contents and provide optimum access to the equipment within, thanks to the ease with which the shelves swing out. The industry offers a range of extremely practical and ergonomically designed products in this regard.

Mould & Co.

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