Older Adult Stair and Walking Speeds from Controlled Trials as Inputs into Simulations of Retirement Home Evacuation


  • Bronwyn Forrest University of Waterloo, Department of Mechanical and Mechanical Engineering, Ontario, Canada
  • Karen Van Ooteghem University of Waterloo, Department of Kinesiology and Health Sciences, Ontario, Canada
  • Bryn Jones Conestoga College, Department of Building Sciences, Ontario, Canada
  • John Gales York University, Department of Civil Engineering, Ontario, Canada
  • Elizabeth Weckman University of Waterloo, Department of Mechanical and Mechanical Engineering, Ontario, Canada




Stair speeds, Older adults, Retirement home, Simulation


This work aims to add to the current database of human movement data, specifically, 3-stair descent speeds from controlled trials of typically aging older adults (n=212, aged 60-99) with and without mobility impairments. Additionally, to explore the impacts of model input parameters, stair and walking speeds obtained from controlled trials are used to simulate first-iteration Canadian retirement home egress scenarios with Pathfinder. Analysis of descending stair speeds reveal interesting trends and key inter-population variations. Moreover, when the stair and horizontal walking speeds determined from these controlled trials are used as inputs into the illustrative egress simulations, a difference in predicted egress outcomes are seen compared to when model defaults are used. Together, the findings indicate important egress considerations for a vulnerable population.


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How to Cite

Forrest, B., Van Ooteghem, K., Jones, B., Gales, J., & Weckman, E. (2024). Older Adult Stair and Walking Speeds from Controlled Trials as Inputs into Simulations of Retirement Home Evacuation. Collective Dynamics, 9, 1–9. https://doi.org/10.17815/CD.2024.165



Special Issue of Pedestrian and Evacuation Dynamics 2023