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Safety and accessibility assessment of a kitchen repurposing design: A gait and task efficiency analysis
DescriptionAs an aging society, it is essential to address the needs of our trending demographic. An expected increase in the number of functional disabilities places many at a potential health and inaccessibility risk in terms of housing. In this study, we proposed and analyzed the related accessibility and safety improvements associated with a repurposed design of a standard kitchen. Virtual reality simulations of a standard and repurposed kitchen are implemented. Participants’ gait and task efficiency performance were measured as they perform activities of daily living. Improvements in efficiency, through overall decreases in traversed distance and shorter completion times for sub-tasks, indicate a clear advancement in accessibility. On the other hand, a lack of significant reductions in direct falling risks, through similarities in SPARC and acceleration RMS measurements, might warrant future investigation. Additionally, upper-body and psychometric measures should be taken into account for further investigations to provide a more comprehensive evaluation.