Ergonomic Engineering of a Mobile Walker
Authors: Sebastian Kamp, Tilmann Spitz, Ulf Müller, Nico Feller
Abstract: Due to demographic development and rising problems in cost and resource management in health care and social systems, higher demands with respect to assistance for the elderly in everyday life are to be expected. Especially the need for mobile walker to assist people with developmental differences has risen throughout the years. Against this background, ergonomic product design is used in most parts of the construction of such walkers and their properties. On this basis, much care is taken in designing the man/technology interfaces (MTI) to increase the usability of medical products. Surveys of users have shown that an improvement of MTI of mobile walkers is necessary. This medical equipment allows deriving forces which need to be transmitted by the human hand. The ergonomic design of the walker handles needs to be adapted to the user requirements. In this paper, several problems with conventional handles and the problems such handles cause are discussed. To prove the benefits of adapting the handles to ensure better support, conclusions based on the results from experiments that were carried out are drawn. Increasing the usability by reconstructing the product with a user-oriented geometry and taking ergonomic aspects into consideration is achieved comparatively easily.
Keywords: Usability, User Centered Design, Mobile Walkers, Walking Frame, Rollators, Ergonomic Engineering
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