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Maintaining balance on a moving bus: The importance of three-peak steps whilst walking on the lower-deck

Karekla, X; Tyler, N; (2018) Maintaining balance on a moving bus: The importance of three-peak steps whilst walking on the lower-deck. Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice , 116 pp. 484-496. 10.1016/j.tra.2018.06.022. Green open access

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Abstract

The numerous falls reported on buses due to sudden accelerations indicate the importance of examining the effect of dynamic environments on people’s gait and balance. Although such falls are more common for the elderly and increase the cost of medical care, they also reduce younger passengers’ satisfaction for the service. This study investigates the differences between natural gait and that resulting from the bus environment. Twenty-nine regular bus users, between 20 and 80 years old, were invited to participate in a series of experiments. Their natural gait whilst walking on a flat surface was monitored in a static laboratory and was compared to their gait whilst walking on the lower deck of a moving bus. A medium level of acceleration (1.5 m/s²) was examined, which falls in the range of accelerations experienced by passengers on the real bus service in London. A new method of measuring and analysing gait in dynamic environments was established. Chi-square tests were conducted on measures of changes in gait (step type), which encloses important information about body balance, considering participants’ age and gender and the bus acceleration. The statistical analysis has shown that as acceleration increases bus passengers use more three-peak steps, which denote that the entire foot is under pressure and in full contact with the ground, thus increasing balance. This is the first study investigating people’s gait inside moving vehicles, hence the gait of healthy people was examined so that the differences in walking patterns would be unaffected by health-related conditions, and to increase understanding of the real challenges passengers experience during bus journeys. The presented methods and outcomes can be used to improve research around eliminating risk of falling for people with mobility difficulties.

Type: Article
Title: Maintaining balance on a moving bus: The importance of three-peak steps whilst walking on the lower-deck
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.tra.2018.06.022
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tra.2018.06.022
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Dynamic environment, Bus acceleration, Level walking, Gait analysis, Pressure mapping, Three-peak steps
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science > Dept of Civil, Environ and Geomatic Eng
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10059216
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