Route complexity and simulated physical ageing negatively influence wayfinding

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Abstract

The aim of this age-simulation field experiment was to assess the influence of route complexity and physical ageing on wayfinding. Seventy-five people (aged 18-28) performed a total of 108 wayfinding tasks (i.e., 42 participants performed two wayfinding tasks and 33 performed one wayfinding task), of which 59 tasks were performed wearing gerontologic ageing suits. Outcome variables were wayfinding performance (i.e., efficiency and walking speed) and physiological outcomes (i.e., heart and respiratory rates). Analysis of covariance showed that persons on more complex routes (i.e., more floor and building changes) walked less efficiently than persons on less complex routes. In addition, simulated elderly participants perform worse in wayfinding than young participants in terms of speed (p <0.001). Moreover, a linear mixed model showed that simulated elderly persons had higher heart rates and respiratory rates compared to young people during a wayfinding task, suggesting that simulated elderly consumed more energy during this task. (C) 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)62-67
Number of pages6
JournalApplied Ergonomics
Volume56
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1-Sep-2016

Keywords

  • Hospital environment
  • Route complexity
  • Physical ageing
  • Simulation
  • Wayfinding
  • VIRTUAL-REALITY
  • AGE
  • REQUIREMENTS
  • STRATEGIES
  • ACCURACY
  • DEFICITS
  • WALKING
  • SIGNAGE
  • HEALTH

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