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Gait Speed with Anti-Slip Devices on Icy Pedestrian Crossings Relate to Perceived Fall-Risk and Balance

1
Department of Health Sciences, Luleå University of Technology, Luleå 97187, Sweden
2
Department of Civil, Environmental and Natural Resources Engineering, Luleå University of Technology, Luleå 97187, Sweden
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16(14), 2451; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16142451
Received: 25 April 2019 / Revised: 5 July 2019 / Accepted: 8 July 2019 / Published: 10 July 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Health Behavior, Chronic Disease and Health Promotion)
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Abstract

It is important to find criteria for preventive measures and appropriate assistive devices to reduce pedestrian injuries and increase walking in winter. Reducing the rate of falls on icy surfaces and improving people’s ability to safely cross a street in winter conditions by achieving an adequate walking speed, for example, need to be considered. This study explores pedestrian perceptions of fall risk, balance, and footfall transitions while using different designs for anti-slip devices on ice and snow-covered ice and relates these to measures of gait speed and friction. Trials were performed with nine pedestrians testing 19 anti-slip devices on ice and ice covered with snow. Laboratory tests of the dynamic coefficient of friction (DCOF) on plain ice were also performed. The findings suggest that there was conformity in the participants’ perceptions of good balance and low fall risk for one-fifth of the devices (three whole-foot designs and one design with built-in spikes). We also found that gait speed on icy pedestrian crossings is related to perceived fall-risk and balance control, but not to DCOF of the anti-slip devices. View Full-Text
Keywords: anti-slip device; classification; postural control; pedestrian crossing; safety; gait speed; winter conditions anti-slip device; classification; postural control; pedestrian crossing; safety; gait speed; winter conditions
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).
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Larsson, A.; Berggård, G.; Rosander, P.; Gard, G. Gait Speed with Anti-Slip Devices on Icy Pedestrian Crossings Relate to Perceived Fall-Risk and Balance. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2019, 16, 2451.

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