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Biomechanics for inclusive urban design: effects of tactile paving on older adults’ gait when crossing the street

Thies, SB, Kenney, LPJ, Howard, D, Nester, CJ, Ormerod, M, Newton, R, Baker, RD, Faruk, M and Maclennan, HA 2011, 'Biomechanics for inclusive urban design: effects of tactile paving on older adults’ gait when crossing the street' , Journal of Biomechanics . (In Press)

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      Abstract

      In light of our ageing population it is important that the urban environment is easily accessible and hence supports older adults’ independence. Tactile ‘blister’ paving was originally designed to provide guidance for visually impaired people at pedestrian crossings. However, as research links irregular surfaces to falls in older adults, such paving may have an adverse effect on older people. We investigated the effects of tactile paving on older adults’ gait in a scenario closely resembling “crossing the street”. Gait analysis of 32 healthy older adults showed that tactile, as compared to smooth, paving increases the variability in timing of foot placement by 20%, thereby indicating a disturbance of the rhythmic gait pattern. Moreover, toe-clearance during the swing phase increased by 7% on tactile paving, and the ability to stop upon cue from the traffic light was compromised. These results need to be viewed under consideration of the limitations associated with laboratory studies and real world analysis is needed to fully understand their implications for urban design.

      Item Type: Article
      Themes: Subjects / Themes > R Medicine > R Medicine (General)
      Health and Wellbeing
      Schools: Colleges and Schools > College of Health & Social Care > School of Health Sciences > Centre for Health Sciences Research
      Colleges and Schools > College of Health & Social Care
      Colleges and Schools > College of Health & Social Care > School of Health Sciences
      Colleges and Schools > College of Science & Technology > School of Computing, Science and Engineering > CASE Control & Systems Engineering Research Centre
      Colleges and Schools > College of Science & Technology > School of the Built Environment > SURFACE Inclusive Design Research Centre
      Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Biomechanics
      Publisher: Elsevier
      Refereed: Yes
      ISSN: 0021-9290
      Depositing User: SBA Thies
      Date Deposited: 04 Jan 2011 15:03
      Last Modified: 28 Jul 2014 12:45
      URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/12651

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