Impact of Public Seating Design on Mobility and Independence of Older Adults

Publication Name

Experimental Aging Research


Background:Mobility and independence of older adults are influenced by age-related capabilities and limitations, as well as environmental factors such as non-optimum design of public seating (e.g., inappropriate seat height, angle, and compressibility as well as armrests). This study was the first part of a multi-stage investigation of the impact of public seating on older adults. Method:One hundred and six older adults (aged 65 and over) completed an online survey regarding difficulties experienced with standing up from public seating (e.g. frequency; location; type of seating; effects). Results:A majority (59.4%) reported experiencing problems, with seat height the most common issue. Shopping malls, cafes and restaurants, doctor’s offices, outdoor locations, and public toilets were the most common locations. Effects included inconvenience, embarrassment, discomfort, pain, and needing help from another person to stand. Discussion:Further research is needed to explore the locations and features of seating that can contribute to this problem.

Open Access Status

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