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Green phases at traffic lights for people with arthritis too short

Green phases at traffic lights for people with arthritis too short


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More and more people with arthritis find themselves in social isolation

Especially when older people want to cross the street at a traffic light, the so-called green phase is usually not enough. It becomes particularly problematic for people with arthritis. Researchers have now found that people suffering from arthritis cannot cross the street in the green phase. As a result, those affected are no longer traveling voluntarily in our cities and are thus becoming increasingly socially isolated.

In their current investigation, scientists from Glasgow Caledonian University found that patients with arthritis and also in general older people often have problems crossing the street in good time during the green phase of traffic lights. As a result, those affected are embarrassed and uncomfortable and increasingly isolate themselves, explains Professor Steultjens from Glasgow Caledonian University. The problem was identified during the preparation of an ongoing large-scale study to improve posture, balance and stability for people with rheumatoid arthritis. The researchers have now released a press release on the initial results of their investigation.

What is the goal of the ongoing study?

The experts looked at a new treatment for walking problems in people with arthritis called Gait Rehabilitation. This type of treatment has so far proven particularly effective for patients with mobility problems that result from neurological impairments.

The green traffic light phases are too short

In previous arthritis studies, participants particularly frequently discussed everyday problems. Many people with arthritis feel insecure and embarrassed that they cannot cross the road quickly enough during the traffic light green phase, the experts explain. For many affected people, this even goes so far that they live in social isolation. Such people simply don't want to leave the house anymore, and one of the main reasons is that the green light phases are too short, the scientists say.

Many older women have problems crossing the street during a green phase

Expert Professor Steultjens researches the bio-mechanics of arthritis at the Glasgow Caledonian University School of Health and Life Sciences. Together with colleagues, he now presented an update of the results so far. "The normal green phase, in which pedestrians can cross the street, requires that a person is able to move at a speed of 1.2 m / s," explains Steultjens. Other studies have already shown that 85 percent of older women (over the age of 65) cannot move at this speed.

Cities have to adapt to the aging population

A change in the length of the green phase at the traffic lights could have a massive impact on the lives of many people and even affect increasing social isolation, the doctors explain. So far it is relatively unknown that so many people have problems crossing the road in time. Perhaps it is simply time that cities take greater account of the aging population and people with difficulty walking, the scientists conclude.

The full study will be published in 2022

The overall results of the ongoing study are expected to be published in 2022. In addition to Glasgow Caledonian University, Keele University, King’s College London and Salford University are also involved in the study. (as)

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