Ergonomics and safety in the bathroom

Ergonomics and safety play an important role, ensuring that people remain health and feel good. In particular, with regard to demographic changes, the matter is taking on greater relevance – including in the bathroom. The German sanitary industry offers a myriad of solutions that ensure that the bathroom can be used safely and comfortably at any time of life.

The aim of ergonomics is to reduce the impact on health as much as possible, and to help people in their everyday lives. This philosophy has been part of bathroom design for a long time now. The reasons for this are, first of all, the rise in life expectancy and greater awareness of health matters. It’s not just older people who are concerned by ergonomic and safe bathrooms: children and young adults can benefit from it, too. Safety and ergonomics are, therefore, firmly anchored in the ideas and product development of the German sanitary industry.

The following also applies for bathrooms: Safety first
Floor-level showers have no edge to step over, and offer lots of room for movement, and don’t have anything to trip over. The shower channels for floor-level showers, like those offered by Geberit, Mepa and Viega are perfect for this. They can be fitted with great precision to any shower area and made flush with the floor. Alternatively, the drainage system can be completely incorporated into the wall, so that there is no drain in the floor space. “This ensures the greatest possible level of safety,” explains Volker Röttger from Geberit. An opportunity to sit down in the shower means that all generations can enjoy relaxing safely while taking a shower. Just small changes like seats, rail systems or handles by Keuco create tangible safety benefits. This also applies to non-slip surfaces such as the almost invisible surface coating for enamelled shower areas by Kaldewei or the artificial resin coating by Ideal Standard. Digital features increase comfort and safety: Integrated hot water limits and electronic bath panels by Dornbracht, Kaldewei, Mepa and Viega provide effective protection against burns when bathing, showering or washing your hands. The systems by Kaldewei and Viega also stop the water flow when the right water level has been reached. “Water filter systems for wash basins actively prevent a build-up of bacteria in the drinking water,” stresses Veit Szpak from Mepa.

Ergonomic solutions for all times of life
“Being user-friendly and ergonomic are essential components of a good design process,” says Dr. Ronald Herkt (Dip. Eng.) from Keramag. For example, tall people and those with back problems can benefit from higher toilets. It’s possible using the toilet assembly elements by Mepa to adjust the height of the toilet, even after installation. At Viega, the WC element can even be adjusted to the desired height by the user at the press of a button. “People who need more space can benefit, for example, from specially wide and sturdy toilets with an increased maximum load,” adds Thomas Kreitel from Ideal Standard. Remote control for the toilet flush also enables the user to trigger the flush easily and ergonomically. Geberit has developed a remote control system for this that can be placed up to 1.7 metres away from the flush tank thanks to pneumatic transmission technology. The button can be placed next to the user instead of behind. There are also mobility solutions, such as those offered by Viega, to make life easier. A swipe of the hand can trigger the desired quantity of flush – contact-free. The wash basin is given special attention, serving as one of the central stations in the bathroom. In addition to a height-adjustable toilet, Viega also offers a wash basin that can be adjusted at the touch of a button. At the lower setting, it can be easily reached by children or while seated. Accessible models also increase the amount of room available in the bathroom.

“Freedom of movement is important for safety and comfort in the bathroom,” says Beate Vetter from Keramag. The sanitary ceramics manufacturer combines modern design with safety and ergonomics in its product range. This range includes wash basins that can also be used for washing comfortably while seated, as well as deep and flat-flush toilets with non-slip fibres for the toilet seat. Colour contrasts between the surfaces and the covers also make it easier for people with sight impairment to use them. In baths, integrated armrests with practical handles help users to climb in and out. Ergonomically designed lying areas and flat outflow valves increase comfort. “In addition to holding features, wider bath edges are also available, which can be used either as a place to put things or to sit on,” says Marcus Möllers from Kaldewei. As for storage space, the German sanitary industry has come up with practical solutions that make life easier. With the modular furniture ranges by Burgbad, storage and shelf space can always be created where it is needed and where it can be easily reached. The space can be designed with flexibility according to individual specifications to suit the living situation.

Form follows on from use
Apart from an appealing product design, sanitary product manufacturers are taking their lead from the Blue Responsibility initiative, in particular with regard to user-friendly, safe and healthy solutions. “It’s important to find a middle way that combines these features, and offers added value for people at all stages of life,” explains Wolfgang Burchard, spokesperson from Blue Responsibility. Katja Zimmermann from Keuco adds: “Good product design has always aimed to achieve optimum use. The products should be visually pleasing, but function regardless of age and physical constitution.” The products from the German sanitary industry have therefore been designed so that they meet these requirements as effectively as possible. Special solutions round off the range. “Safety and health consciousness are values that place quality of life at the centre. Attractive, timeless bathrooms are also long-lasting. They can be used by all generations, since they will continue to meet people’s requirement for many years to come. People can benefit from ergonomic solutions right from a young age. At the same time, they are an investment in the future,” say Burchard to sum up.

Further details regarding this topic can be obtained on the manufacturers' websites,,,,,,, und