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Setting ergonomic standards in kitchen design

A new kitchen represents a big investment for most people and they rightly expect to use it happily for several years. There are a lot of uncertainties and you will only really know that you’ve made the right choices and decisions once you’re using your kitchen regularly. If you’ve taken ergonomic factors into account, you’re more likely to be happy with your new kitchen. AMK’s new ergonoMeter, based on the latest scientific research into ideal working heights, is a highly practical tool for ergonomic kitchen planning.

Research and relevance

In 1991, the Institute for Applied Work Science (iad) at the Technical University of Darmstadt was commissioned by AMK to carry out a wide-ranging study on “Ergonomics in the Kitchen”. Their findings are still influencing the design of contemporary kitchens today. One focus of attention was the question of the right working height for each kitchen user. Today, 20 years later, the initial results are being reevaluated and expanded. Many of the results are still valid, but on average, people are taller and the proportions of different parts of their bodies have changed. This obviously impacts on the optimal working height. 

The study found, and this has since been confirmed, that the decisive measurement for calculating the ergonomically optimal working height is not a person’s overall height, but the height of their bent elbow.

The AMK ergonoMeter

AMK took the results of the latest research and used them to design and build a measuring tool which would be capable of accurately measuring elbow-height and then automatically displaying the optimal worksurface height for each person using the kitchen. Kitchen planners who deploy the ergonoMeter will be among the pioneers of the ergonomically planned kitchen based on the latest scientific research.

Simple, fast, professional

The AMK ergonoMeter is extremely simple and efficient. The streamlined, high quality measuring device is made of anodised aluminium. It stands securely on a base made of powder-coated steel. To use the measuring device, the customer should stand erect holding her/his elbows at an angle of 90 degrees. The sales assistant opens the quick lock on the ergonoMeter, slides the armrest up until it sits just under the customer’s bent elbow. The quick lock is then closed. The elbow height can now be read off on the back scale, the optimal working height on the left scale and the lower working height (ideal, for example, for a hob) on the right scale. Different working heights are not absolutely essential, but, in kitchens with different work areas, they’re easily achieved without spoiling the overall look of the kitchen. If it’s not possible to go for different working heights, then choose the optimum working height for the person who uses the kitchen most  for the whole kitchen.