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Title: Texturized geriatric footwear design for balance-enhancing and pressure management
Authors: Yick, KL 
Issue Date: 2019
Abstract: This research offers exciting new ways of addressing the complexities of ergonomic footwear design for older people to improve stability in walking, reduce pain and the risk of falling. Taking into consideration of the age-related impairment of plantar sensitivity and declined musculoskeletal systems, it is a strategic footwear design to augment the plantar feedback system for enhancing balance control and redistribute excessive plantar pressure for reducing foot pain.
This project incorporates foot biomechanics, foot anthropometry and material analyses to design protrusions (textures) on the insole for site-specific stimulation that are optimal in fit and design to enhance the body balance of older people, hence yielding new insights and high tech solutions in footwear design and engineering for improving health and wellbeing. As the first research work of this kind on care footwear design for the Chinese elderly, over 300 elderly people had participated in 3D foot scanning, evaluations of plantar pressures and posture stability during walking, as well as wear trial of footwear prototypes for subjective perception. On the basis of the established findings, the optimised footwear design includes site-specific protrusions, threedimensional articulated midsole and arch support, open-toed and adjustable front strap, flexible heel counter and outsole materials that could be comfortably and safely worn at home. The new footwear has proved in the improvement of muscle co-contraction, plantar sensitivity for better body balance during walking, and underfoot pressure reduction.
Rights: All rights reserved.
Posted with permission of the author.
Appears in Collections:Design Research Portfolio

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