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Repurposing design in bedrooms to improve home accessibility: task and motion analysis using the virtual reality environment
DescriptionFunctional disabilities, which have an association with a higher risk of falling in households, are common in the U.S. Individuals with functional limitations may benefit from accessible homes since they improve safety and reduce the risk of falling. Repurposing design is one strategy to improve home accessibility, by adapting home spaces and fixtures to serve a new purpose. This study aimed to propose a repurposing design in the bedroom area. The idea for a new bedroom repurposing design was proposed after analyzing a standard bedroom floor plan. The original standard bedroom layout and the redesigned bedroom layout were simulated in a virtual reality environment. To evaluate the accessibility of the new bedroom repurposing design, six participants (four females, 56.3 ± 14.1 years old) were recruited to perform two daily activities (i.e., relocating the robe & going to the bathroom) in both the original and redesigned bedrooms. The comparison of participants’ task performance and trunk motion in both bedroom layouts revealed: (1) the sequences of actions required for two daily activities were similar between both bedroom layouts, (2) participants spent less time and walked for a shorter distance in the redesigned bedroom layout than in the original layout, (3) the motion smoothness when walking to the closet improved, whereas the RMS of trunk acceleration when opening the bathroom door decreased in the redesigned bedroom layout compared to the original layout.