PURPOSES : As the population of the mobility handicapped, who are classified as the disabled, the elderly, pregnant women, children, etc., has increased, the voices for guaranteeing their rights have been increasing as well. Thus, the design manuals for roads and sidewalks for the mobility handicapped were developed by the local government, such as the Ministry of Land, Transport, and Tourism, in Seoul City. However, according to the 2013 survey results of the Seoul Metropolitan City, the mobility handicapped still feel uncomfortable with the sidewalks, and particularly request for the improvement of the step and slope of the sidewalk curb. Therefore, in this study, we conducted an empirical experimental study to determine the slope of the sidewalk curb and height of the steps considering the mobility handicapped and analyzed whether there is a statistically significant difference. METHODS : The methodology of this study is an empirical experimental one. In the study, five non-disabled people, 10 wheelchair users, and 10 eye patch and stick users walked about 2-3 min on the sidewalk plates of the sloped type (0%, 5%, 6.3%, 8.3%) and stepped type (0 cm, 1 cm, 3 cm, 6 cm), and their human physiological responses, such as the skin temperature, volume of perspiration on forehead and chest, and heart rate, were measured and recorded. After combining the data, we conducted a nonparametric test, ANOVA, or t-test to determine whether there was a statistically significant difference according to each slope and step type. RESULTS : It was found that for the non-disabled, there was no significant difference in human physiological responses according to the slope and steps of the sidewalk. It can be said that the non-disabled do not feel much physiological discomfort while walking. In the case of the sloped sidewalk plate, the heart rate of the wheel chair users increased when the slope was 6.3%. In the case of the eye patch and stick users, the volume of perspiration on the chest increased at a slope of 5.0%. In general, it is judged that a sidewalk with a slope that is less than 5% does not cause a change in the physiological response. In the case of a stepped sidewalk plate, when 0 cm, 1 cm, and 3 cm were compared for wheelchair users, the amount of forehead perspiration increased from 1 cm. Meanwhile, in the case of the eye patch and stick users, when 0 cm and 6 cm were compared, the amount of perspiration on the forehead and chest as well as the heart rate all increased at 6 cm. Taken together, in the case of wheelchair users, a difference was shown when the height of the step of the sidewalk plate was 1 cm, suggesting that installing it at 0 cm does not cause any physiological discomfort. Moreover, in the case of the eye patch and stick users, when comparing only 0 cm and 6 cm, 0 cm was considered to be suitable, as there was a difference in physiological response at 6 cm. CONCLUSIONS : In this study, we set the human physiological responses such as chest skin temperature, amount of perspiration, and heart rate as evaluation items, and our study was considered to be a meaningful experiment that targeted wheelchair users as well as eye patch and stick users. The validity of the evaluation items was confirmed, as the results of human physiological responses were significant. As for the sidewalk design, according to the experiment result, it is considered that differential application should be implemented according to the type of mobility handicap, rather than uniformly applying a sidewalk step of 2 cm and sidewalk slope of 1/25, which are the current legal standards.
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