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Title: Seating for rest and rehabilitation, design research and practice
Author: Jones, Christina H.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3592 026X
Awarding Body: University of Central England in Birmingham
Current Institution: Birmingham City University
Date of Award: 2005
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This research examines the principles of seating and their relationship to both the older adult and physically challenged populations. Initially the research focused on seating inadequacies, postural and comfort related issues that both populations have with their current seat. It identified the adverse medical effects and cost implications of pressure sores, temperature, blood flow and moisture on the human body. It also established if one style and size of chair could accommodate both populations and what features should be adjustable and which should be fixed. New knowledge is a feature of several research outcomes. Both populations participated in the design process thereby identifYing solutions, ideas and requirements that came directly from the end-user. A questionnaire and focus group were conducted with participants from the Birmingham 'Thousand Elders' to determine both populations' seating requirements The reSUlting design criteria were used to develop a fully adjustable seating measurement rig. Participants were used to evaluate the rig and detennine the 'correct' seating dimensions for older adults and important aspects of time and comfort. One of the outcomes of the study was that the rig could also be used as a prescription tool in a domestic furniture outlet when designing or specifying seating for older adults and physically challenged people. The lessons learnt from the above were used to develop a three-phase design methodology and a range of seat comfort design tools. These emphasise the importance of user participation throughout the whole design process. They also ensure that quality and robustness are included throughout the design and development process. Quality Functional Deployment matrices and a Parameter-Diagram were employed to detennine the relationship between the user's requirements and design specifications. Research outcomes included the design of a lounge chair proposal for both populations and an activity unit for use in institutional settings. The final proposals incorporate customer requirements, enhanced comfort, postural support, pressure relief, ease of ingress/egress, marketing, legislation and production/cost constraints. They also take into account the psychological and behavioural impact that the design has on the user. Other outcomes included chair specification criteria, which can be used by occupational therapists, physiotherapists or N.H.S when selecting a chair for an individual. ii
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available