Kitchen Most-Used Room in Home, Study Says

Kitchen Most-Used Room in Home, Study Says

CLEVELAND, OH A typical family, while awake, spends more time in the kitchen than any other room of the home, with kitchens playing "an increasingly central role in everyday life," according to the results of a new study.

The study, conducted by the Swedish-based appliance giant, The Electrolux Group, was aimed at determining how people behave inside their home. Using mounted "spy" cameras and other movement sensors, Electrolux researchers studied a Swedish family of five (two adults and three children) for one month 6 a.m. to midnight, seven days a week examining what rooms the family visited, how frequently, how long they stayed, and what they did. The "spy system," which excluded the use of bathrooms, enabled researchers to map out a pattern of movement and measure how long and often the family used each of the objects whose use was being measured, researchers said.

The survey revealed that the family that was studied spent more time in the kitchen and laundry area using such major appliances as refrigerators, ranges and laundry equipment than they did watching television or using a personal computer.

In fact, the survey's results revealed that the family spent 175.1 hours in the kitchen during the month in question, compared to 31.1 hours in the living room, 33.2 hours doing laundry, and 10.4 hours at the personal computer.
While admitting that the survey was limited, and not scientific, Electrolux officials said the results "surprised appliance designers somewhat."

"Through this survey, we can clearly see that families love being in the kitchen," observed Rick Weiss, director of design for Electrolux Home Products in North America. "This gives us a useful boost . . . to our aim of making the kitchen the information center of the 'intelligent home.'

"The 'intelligent home' is moving ever closer, and more and more services will soon be managed from the kitchen," Weiss noted. "Innovative technology and common sense can therefore be combined to make daily life easier, using the kitchen as the management center of household activity."

The data that was gathered from the survey will provide the company with guidelines for future product development, Weiss added.

Among the appliance brands produced by The Eelectrolux Group are Frigidaire, Tappan, White Westinghouse, Gibson and Kelvinator. Electrolux-branded products will be introduced to the U.S. in 2002, as part of a move to build the Electrolux brand around the world, corporate officials said.