/publications/issue/2002/2002-11/2002-11-7022

Screwed on Too Tight!

Author:

Often it?s the little things that matter. Certainly that?s true if you?ve got arthritis and are constantly struggling to unscrew jar lids of food items in your kitchen. Now scientists in Korea have measured the torque required to open the lids of various processed foods, as well as the twisting strengths of young and old women. Their conclusion: Most lids are just screwed on too tight.

The study focused on women between the ages of 20 and 30 years and a group in their 60s. Researchers found that the older women?s twisting strength fell far short of the younger women?s strength. Older adults who have arthritis have a difficult time with product caps, the study noted.

At present, there are no international standards for the torque of product caps. Until there are, the report suggests, elderly individuals should get help to open product lids when possible.