Kitchen Helpers

Ergonomics for the elderly

Written by HealthDay News

Updated on July 09, 2002

(HealthDayNews) -- Getting older sometimes means that the act of bending or moving around gets harder.

That's why researchers at the University of Oulu in Linnanmaa, Finland, studied the way kitchens should be designed for an elderly population.

They got 55 elderly people to putter around a sample kitchen, then measured the right heights for chairs, tables and work areas. As reported in the Applied Ergonomics:

  • The best height for a kitchen chair is about 17.7 inches high. Testers also tried chairs that were 14 inches and 22 inches, but the 17.7-inch model was just right.
  • If you're putting in shelving, don't install anything less than 12 inches above the floor.
  • As for work surfaces, 33.4 inches is just about right for elderly people.
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