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Work surfaces and cupboards

How can I make work surfaces and cupboards easier to use?

To make it easier to use the work surfaces and cupboards in your kitchen, try the following:

  • Find the work surface in your kitchen at which you’re most comfortable.
  • Avoid standing for long periods.
  • Sit at the kitchen table or perch on a high stool.
  • If your work surfaces are on the same level with no gaps in between, slide pans and groceries along them to avoid lifting.

I have very low/high cupboards, what can I do to help myself?

Reaching into very low or high cupboards can be hard, particularly if they’re cluttered or stacked several layers deep. The following tips might help:

  • Store items you use often within easy reach on the work surface or at the front of cupboards at a convenient height.
  • Lower wall-mounted cupboards.
  • Fit large handles or sliding doors.
  • Have shelves that slide or rotate out when you open the door.
  • Have drawers mounted on rollers, which run more easily than standard drawers.
  • Use plate shelves, rather than piling crockery up.
  • Use step-shelves inside cupboards to easily see and reach jars and tins.

I'm redesigning my kitchen, what should I look for?

If you're redesigning your kitchen or moving house, ask yourself the following when you're looking around:

  • Are cupboards the right height for you to reach into?
  • Can you open doors and drawers?
  • Are surfaces the right height for you to work at?

It might be useful to speak to the Disabled Living Foundation, your nearest Disabled Living Centre (contact Assist UK for details) or your occupational therapist for professional advice on kitchens that are suitable for your needs. In many cases it may be easier, or more affordable, to adapt your existing kitchen.

For more information, go to www.arthritisresearchuk.org.
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