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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 terms of walking pain reduction, and the risks of falling. Taking into consideration the age related impairment of plantar sensitivity and declining musculoskeletal systems, this work involves strategic footwear design to augment the plantar feedback system for enhancing balance control and redistributing excessive plantar pressure for reducing foot pain
This project incorporates foot biomechanics, foot anthropometry and material analyses to design protrusions ( on the insole for site specific stimulation The texturized footwear enhances 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 participated in 3D foot scanning, evaluations of plantar pressures, and posture stability during walking, as well as wear trials of footwear prototypes for subjective perception On the basis of the established findings, the optimised footwear design includes site specific protrusions 3D articulated midsole and arch support, open toed and adjustable front strap, a flexible heel counter, and outsole materials that can be comfortably and safely worn at home The new footwear has improved muscle co-contraction, plantar sensitivity for better body balance during walking, and for the reduction of underfoot pressure With collaboration with centres for the elderly, a participative co-creation approach was adopted to encourage the engagement of older people in the footwear design process that enhances both the value and the uses of footwear The design patent is filed in both US and China and the results have been published in five journals, at five conferences (with a best student paper award), in an academic book, and at four exhibitions and two workshops.
Rights: All rights reserved.
Posted with permission of the author.
Appears in Collections:Design Research Portfolio

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