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Publication type: Article in scientific journal
Type of review: Peer review (publication)
Title: Older adults must hurry at pedestrian lights! : a cross-sectional analysis of preferred and fast walking speed under single- and dual-task conditions
Authors : Eggenberger, Patrick
Tomovic, Sara
Münzer, Thomas
de Bruin, Eling D.
et. al : No
DOI : 10.1371/journal.pone.0182180
Published in : PLOS ONE
Volume(Issue) : 12
Issue : 7
Pages : e0182180
Issue Date: 31-Jul-2017
Publisher / Ed. Institution : Public Library of Science
ISSN: 1932-6203
Language : English
Subjects : Acceleration; Accident; Aged; Aged, 80 and over; Aging; Biomechanical phenomena; Female; Human; Male; Motor vehicle; Walking; Pedestrian; Psychomotor performance; Traffic
Subject (DDC) : 610: Medicine and health
Abstract: Slow walking speed is strongly associated with adverse health outcomes, including cognitive impairment, in the older population. Moreover, adequate walking speed is crucial to maintain older pedestrians' mobility and safety in urban areas. This study aimed to identify the proportion of Swiss older adults that didn't reach 1.2 m/s, which reflects the requirements to cross streets within the green-yellow phase of pedestrian lights, when walking fast under cognitive challenge. A convenience sample, including 120 older women (65%) and men, was recruited from the community (88%) and from senior residences and divided into groups of 70-79 years (n = 59, 74.8 ± 0.4 y; mean ± SD) and ≥80 years (n = 61, 85.5 ± 0.5 y). Steady state walking speed was assessed under single- and dual-task conditions at preferred and fast walking speed. Additionally, functional lower extremity strength (5-chair-rises test), subjective health rating, and retrospective estimates of fall frequency were recorded. Results showed that 35.6% of the younger and 73.8% of the older participants were not able to walk faster than 1.2 m/s under the fast dual-task walking condition. Fast dual-task walking speed was higher compared to the preferred speed single- and dual-task conditions (all p < .05, r = .31 to .48). Average preferred single-task walking speed was 1.19 ± 0.24 m/s (70-79 y) and 0.94 ± 0.27 m/s (≥80 y), respectively, and correlated with performance in the 5-chair-rises test (rs = -.49, p < .001), subjective health (τ = .27, p < .001), and fall frequency (τ = -.23, p = .002). We conclude that the fitness status of many older people is inadequate to safely cross streets at pedestrian lights and maintain mobility in the community's daily life in urban areas. Consequently, training measures to improve the older population's cognitive and physical fitness should be promoted to enhance walking speed and safety of older pedestrians.
Fulltext version : Published version
License (according to publishing contract) : CC BY 4.0: Attribution 4.0 International
Departement: Health Professions
Organisational Unit: Institute of Physiotherapy (IPT)
Appears in Collections:Publikationen Gesundheit

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