Year, Volume, Issue, Page(s):16, 28, 4, 209-215
Study used previous research data to determine appropriate roughness thresholds to characterize whether pedestrian pathways poses a comfort or health risk to wheelchair users. A previously published study investigated the correlation between the pathway roughness index (PRI) and whole body vibration (WBV) exposure to wheelchair users. The results of the previous vibration study showed that some surfaces can cause discomfort and could cause health risks to wheelchair users. The purpose of the current study was to translate the previous research evidence on WBV exposure and PRI into a PRI threshold that could be used to determine whether a pathway is safe, moderately safe, or unsafe for wheelchair users. Results suggest a PRI threshold of ≤50 millimeters per meter (1.2 inches per foot) for a surface segment of 100 meters (328 feet) in length, and ≤100 millimeters per meter (1.2 inches per foot) for a surface segment of 3 meters (9.8 feet) in length would protect wheelchair users against discomfort and possible health risks due to vibration exposure. For surfaces of different lengths, a 3-meter (9.8 feet) and 100-meter (328 feet) moving window should be used.