Human Factors in Yacht Designfor Older Adults
Authors: Massimo Musio-Sale
Abstract: An ergonomics oriented toward older adults has responded to increasing social expectations, particularly since late in the 20th century. The popularity of yachting as a form of recreation for the middle class has grown since 1945, while average life expectancy has increased considerably over the past few years only, reflecting improved general economic conditions, better healthcare and nutrition. A higher general retirement age, and advancements in all life phases, also associated to a larger access to higher education have enabled the financial independence and economic security of adults in old age. Until late in the 20th century, adults aged between 60 to 70 years were frequently regarded as an old age group. Individuals who lived to age 90 may have been considered decrepit at the time. Conversely, individuals aged 80 or 90 today sport, on average, a high degree of interest for life and unprecedented physical potentiality. This vitality is also in association with the upper middle classes in terms of income and wealth, which is normally related to older adults. This potentiality to acquire and own costly goods, and a yacht is one, is arguably in reference to these classes of older individuals. To look for ergonomic design concepts that facilitate yachting for older adults is key to the future success of the industry vis-à-vis this new potential market.
Keywords: Older adults, Yacht Design, Design for All, Human Systems Integration, Weak User
Cite this paper: