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The tailor-made kitchen

Ergonomic insights applied to kitchen design has a positive effect on our health

For 40,000 years, man has not changed in terms of his external appearance or build. If a man back then had been given a haircut, had his nails trimmed and been dressed in jeans and trainers, no-one would have noticed the difference. However, this does not apply to his habits. Back then, he would have got up at dawn, sharpened his spear and run after mammoths shouting loudly. Occasionally, he would have been hunched over fine berries by the wayside or climbed to the juicy apple on the tree with agility. In the evenings, he would dance wildly around a campfire. Modern man rides to the office in a car, hunts through the virtual world sitting at a desk, and has a pizza delivered at midday. In the evening he watches TV. The time we used to spend stalking, tracking and making fires, is now spent mainly seated, or at any rate standing. The result of all this is backache, bad posture and tension.

How can kitchen design help to counteract this? Ergonomics has long been a topic in the workplace. The term is made up of the Greek words “ergon” (work) and “nomos” (norm) and denotes the study of the principles of human work. The ultimate ambition of ergonomics is always to create ideal workplace conditions and even in the kitchen it has a special role. Ergonomically sophisticated kitchen design contributes a great deal to health. With the ideal worktop height and the correct placement of kitchen appliances, back pain is something of the past.

Modern man spends most of his time sitting or standing

Measuring the height of the worktop

In terms of kitchen design, the right choice of worktop height is crucially important. The height of the worktop is matched to that of the main user. If two people of very differing heights do the cooking, it is worth planning for two worktop surfaces with different worktop heights. The elbow bent to 90 degrees is the relevant measurement. It should be 10 to 15 cm above the worktop surface.

The gap between elbow and worktop height is ideally 15 cm

Placement of wall units

Think carefully about the placement of wall units. If they are too low, they hinder the workflow. If they are too high, crockery can only be reached with the aid of a chair. It is important that the wall units are well within reach and can be loaded without hindrance. You should already be thinking about what you intend to place in them at the design stage.

Wall units should not hinder the workflow

And what about the sink?

The ideal position of the sink is generally higher than that of the selected worktop surface. Ideally, the sink is located midway between rubbish bin and dishwasher. This allows you to easily remove any leftovers from plates, give them a rinse and place them in the dishwasher – without interrupting the workflow.

Wall units should not hinder the workflow

Piatti Komfortstudio

So much for the theory. In practice, ergonomic insight is all well and good, but difficult to imagine. Despite all the design and theory, how does it really feel if the wall units are higher or lower? And is the calculated worktop height actually right for my individual needs? In the Piatti Komfortstudio, you have the opportunity to physically experience where the oven should be so that your elbows do not get burnt, and which worktop height is best for handling a paring knife.

It is just like going to a tailor for a suit, and having the fine fabric tailored to your body. In the Piatti Komfortstudio, you can try out your tailor-made dream kitchen.

Measure for measure to the dream kitchen
Firstly, the elbow height is measured on the ergonometer. Then the worktop height can be set with centimetre accuracy. The test cutting board with knife is ready for trying out. Should it be five centimetres higher? Is everything comfortably adjusted, can the wall units be reached? Even here, it is simple to find out what the right height is. Once these points have been clarified, all that remains is to adjust the oven so that hot oven shelves can be pushed in and out comfortably. Voilà – how to achieve your tailor-made dream kitchen.

A tailor-made kitchen with different worktop heights.