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OP0009-PARE Easy-to-open packaging – a practical tool developed by involving people with arthritis
  1. L.M. Thomsen
  1. Danish Rheumatism Association, Gentofte, Denmark


Background A large number of consumers have reduced hand strength and difficulties in opening packaging, due to illness or age. 16,8% of the Danish population have experienced reduced function in hands/arms within the last year, and 8% are experiencing reduced function daily. Reduced functions in hands/arms are even more common among people with rheumatism. 33% of the members of the Danish Rheumatism Association have difficulties in opening packaging several times every day and therefore; the association has taken several initiatives in order to get more accessible packing during the last years.

One of the initiatives has been to participate in the project “User friendly packaging – Guideline for industry”. The project is based on user-driven innovation and the users are primary people with arthritis recruited through The Danish Rheumatism Association. The project started in 2008 and the guideline will be presented in March 2012 and translated to English. The project is collaboration between The Danish Technological Institute (DTI), Aarhus School of Architecture, The Danish Rheumatism Association and several industry associations and companies.

Objectives The aim of the project has been to improve user-accessibility within packaging by developing a web-based guideline for industry.

Methods The designers have been interviewing and observing, how people with arthritis handles packaging. The aim has been to understand the impact packaging has on the daily life among people with arthritis and elderly. The user studies have been based on a visit in the participant’s homes, where the designers have followed shopping and cooking situations.These observations formed the basis of the designers’ proposals for new and more accessible packaging. The designers have now with engineers at DTI, developed a guideline for industry, which takes into account both the users and technical requirements

Results The main result of the project is a web-based guideline for industry. The guideline contains knowledge regarding the experience of the users and issues on packaging design. Also the guideline contains a step by step process to develop easy-to-open packaging. The main focus in the development of the guideline has been to produce a functional and practical tool. The guideline has been proven in cases with five companies within the food sector. The presentation will illustrate different elements of the guideline and focus on the user part, where members of the Danish Rheumatism Association have been contributing.

Conclusions Through systematically observations and interviews among people with arthritis, designers and engineers have succeeded in developing a web-based guideline for industry. The guideline can be a tool for producers of packaging, engineers and designers who want to develop accessible packaging in the future.

Note The guideline can be seen on

Disclosure of Interest None Declared

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