Kitchen Talk
December 14, 2007
The basics of kitchen ergonomics

Kitchen ergonomics is often overlooked when putting your kitchen together. I see it when we pull out an old kitchen to put in a new one, and I see it when we go to new homes as well. First and foremost, the safe approved height of your finished base cabinet, including the counter top, is 3feet.{{more}} Too low: you damage your back over time and too high: it becomes uncomfortable. Some folks even complain about their wrists getting tired quickly.

Secondly, packing up your pantry: put all the heaviest items in the bottom of the pantry. This is for 2 reasons: (a) so that the weight on the upper shelves don’t cause it to collapse in, especially if that should happen when you open the door and (b) it is always safer to lift items from the bottom by shifting the weight on your legs rather than to take it from the top and having it falling on you. Put the items that you would use most at eye level (just like they do in the supermarkets… in their case, the ones they want you to see first) and then, place lighter, hardly used items on the upper shelves. Those would be safer to stretch for and you won’t have to do it often. The 101 rule in packing your pantry is still in effect ” Put older items to the front and newer ones in the back”

Unless you really cannot do any better after exploring all other options, NEVER put your refrigerator less than 3ft close to the stove, cook top or oven. All studies show that the users of the kitchen after some time become very complacent and then cooking and using the refrigerator feels normal. You can put your life at risk by being close to the stove and either opening the refrigerator yourself or someone else doing so while you are there. Hot and cold are like oil and water.

Make sure there are no cabinets behind your back for at least 4 ft when you are standing in front of the refrigerator. If you have a big space and a perfect work triangle, consider (if you don’t already have one) putting in an island so that you can use it as a hub to get things safely around the kitchen. NEVER put any cabinets, frames, decorations, islands, etc directly in line behind the stove, cook top or oven for at least 4ft. 3ft is okay for very tight spaces, but 4ft is always best. In case of any emergencies, that is one area you need to get in or out of very quickly.

Finally, if you look at our website you would see the message there. In a few more days I would be given permission to tell you about our BIG BIG!! Secret … my lips are still sealed and I can’t wait to tell you all about it… have a good week and enjoy the Nine Morning celebration.

Angelica and Rayan James Exclusive Kitchens
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