Volume 50 (2008) Issue 1 Pages 57-62
In this study, we evaluated the effects on subjective discomfort among cooks during food preparation through use of a standing aid that we developed to alleviate the workload on the low back in the forward-bent posture. Twelve female cooks who worked in a kitchen in a nursing home were asked to prepare foods in 2 working postures: (a) supported by the standing aid (Aid) and (b) without the aid (No aid). They were instructed to evaluate discomfort in 13-body regions during food preparation and the degree of fatigue at the day's end and to enter their ratings after the end of the workday. Since a significant correlation was observed between body height and the improvement effect of discomfort through use of the standing aid, cooks were divided into two groups according to the height, and ratings were analyzed in each group. Among the tall cooks, subjective discomfort in the low back and the front and back of thighs was significantly less with the Aid posture than with the No aid posture. However, in short cooks these values tended to increase in the Aid posture compared with the No aid posture. The results suggest that the standing aid was effective in alleviating tall cooks' workload on the low back in the forward-bent posture.