Ergonomics done right.®
October 26th, 2011

Thanksgiving Ergonomics

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, planning the perfect holiday celebration is a priority for many, which includes cooking the traditionalThanksgiving Ergonomics turkey dinner.  In the United States, over 240 million turkeys were produced last year, weighing a total of approximately 7 billion pounds!  While the average Thanksgiving bird weighs about 15 pounds, studies show this number is increasing each year, so it’s important to make your preparation and cooking time as ergonomic as possible. Here are a few tips to consider when cooking your turkey dinner.

  • Reduce the horizontal reach.  Before taking the turkey out of the oven, clear the countertop. Wear the proper oven gloves to avoid burns and keep the turkey close to the body to reduce forces on the elbows and shoulders.
  • Lift with the legs and not the back. When lifting the turkey out of the oven, remember to avoid a “Butts Up” posture and extreme flexion at the trunk.
  • Reduce push forces on the fingers/thumb. With the carving knife, cut a small hole into the turkey where you can insert the thermometer. This will help reduce the forces on the fingers when pushing the thermometer into the turkey.
  • Make it electric. Use an electric carver, rather than a manual carver and turning fork, to reduce the force required to carve the perfect turkey.  The carver should weigh less than 4 lb.
  • Less is better.  When transferring the slices of turkey onto a platter, minimize the amount to reduce the weight of the platter since it will be passed around the table. Lightweight platters are easier to handle and they can always be refilled a second or third time.