Disability and cost of movement in the built environment: an experimental outdoor study
Routes (shapefile format) registered with GPS loggers of three studied groups of participants simulating motor disorders during urban routing experiment in Białystok, Poland.
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Study group Ninety, healthy persons (58 females, 32 males), aged 19–25 years, recruited from the Medical University of Białystok students, participated in this study. Participants were randomly allocated to one of three groups (Table 1). The first group was moving on manual wheelchairs. The second was equipped (symmetrically) with ankle weights (up to 8 kg per lower limb, depending on participants’ physical strength) and with knee joint orthoses, which limited their knee movement to 30–60 degrees of flex. This was done to simulate lower limb paresis manifested with weakened muscle strength and knee joint contracture. Participants in this particular group were also equipped with crutches. The third group (the control group), moved without any orthopedic equipment. A to B’ routing experiment The study was conducted outdoors, in the center of Białystok City (300,000 inhabitants, North-Eastern Poland). The area of the experiment was familiar to the participants (neighborhood of the University and University’s hospital). The area is comprised of a wooded park and built environment: pavements, streets, paths, and barriers (stairs, inclines, and curbstones). The participants had to move from the start point to the turning point, and then return to the start. Each participant was moving separately, was under no time limit, and could make their own decision about the route taken. Participants were equipped with GPS loggers (Holux RCV-3000) to record their tracks, and sports watches with breast belt to monitor heart rate (Polar A300). An additional observer was accompanying participants during the field experiment to take care of their safety and fulfillment of this study procedure.