What is the Hand Healthy project?
The Hand Healthy project looks at how older people with osteoarthritis use the kitchen. Drawing insights from different cultural and ethnic backgrounds and developing a range of therapeutic design innovations.
Osteoarthritis is an age-related condition, although it affects people across the age-spectrum. It peaks between the ages of 45-64 with more women than men experiencing the condition.
Even for people with the condition who are aware that exercise is beneficial, maintaining their physiotherapy alongside daily life can be a struggle. This study focuses on cooking as an everyday activity at which therapeutic interventions can targeted. Research was conducted in five London cultural centres with people from culturally diverse backgrounds.
Therapeutic design innovations resulting from the project include the making of Hand Healthy meals and a ‘kitchen anchor’ concept that supports peeling, grating and chopping. By making common tasks less painful, these concepts aim to bring therapeutic benefits to cooking, translating this everyday activity into a gentle and accessible form of exercise and encouraging a Hand Healthy attitude to life.