Optimum working heights were determined for domestic
kitchen tasks carried out at a sink, worktop and cooker by
24 subjects drawn from each of the 2.5th. 50th and 97.5th
percentile stature groups representative of British women.
Four independent assessments of working posture were
made permitting fine discrimination between the effect of
different work levels upon subjects. They were:-
(b) dynamic anthropometry
(c) centre of weight displacement. and
(d) subjective preferences.
All four were statistically significantly correlated with one
The normal comfortable stand at ease posture wes not
symmetrical or well balanced.
The current British Standard recommended sink height of
,36 inches (914 mm.) was found suitable only for the 2.5th percentile
group, invoking maximum muscle activity values in certain muscles
in subjects from the 50th and 97.5th percentile groups.
A flexion-relaxation posture wes recorded for the 50th
and 97.5th percentile groups when working at low sink heights.
This may be a contributory factor leading to low back disorders. Methods of postural adjustment adopted in aceommodating
the various tasks and working heights were identified and
(b) Dynamic Anthropometric assessments of working postures
were derived from photographs of the angular displacement of
the main body segments identified by markers superimposed
on bony landmarks on each subject.
(c) Centre of Weight Displacements were recorded from a
stability platform on which the subjects stood during the task
performance. Assessments were based on both area and proximity
of centre ot weight locations found relative to the position
during normal standing at ease.
(d) Subjective Preferences for working heights were recorded
on the completion of each task at all workstations.
No single working height was found suitable for all
sections of the female population. A range of appropriate
heights is recommended.
The four parameters were in complete agreement in the
evaluation of tasks undertaken at the sink and showed significant
correlation for the other two workstations. The application of
these findings is discussed.
A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.