" Could you open this jar for me please": a pilot study of the physical nature of jar opening.

The Department of Trade and Industry have recently published a report highlighting the problems of opening foodstuff packaging. The aim of this pilot study was to observe and document the different techniques used by a range of male and female subjects as they tried to open one of the packaging types highlighted in the report as difficult to open, a vacuum-sealed fruit jam jar. Three types of fruit jam jars were assessed with four subjects, two males and two females. Each subject was physically characterised. During the task performance upper limb posture and the forces applied through the jam jar were recorded using a video camera, a CODA motion capture system and a universal grip dynamometer (UGD). The relationship between the physical characteristics and task performance will be discussed in relation to vacuum jar packaging design, and the appropriateness of the assessment methods used.