Supporting the development of inclusive products : the effects of everyday ambient illumination levels and contrast on older adults' near visual acuity

Elton, Eddy, Johnson, Daniel, Nicolle, Colette, & Clift, Laurence (2013) Supporting the development of inclusive products : the effects of everyday ambient illumination levels and contrast on older adults' near visual acuity. Ergonomics, 56(5), pp. 803-817.

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Abstract

Current older adult capability data-sets fail to account for the effects of everyday environmental conditions on capability. This article details a study that investigates the effects of everyday ambient illumination conditions (overcast, 6000 lx; in-house lighting, 150 lx and street lighting, 7.5 lx) and contrast (90%, 70%, 50% and 30%) on the near visual acuity (VA) of older adults (n= 38, 65-87 years). VA was measured at a 1-m viewing distance using logarithm of minimum angle of resolution (LogMAR) acuity charts. Results from the study showed that for all contrast levels tested, VA decreased by 0.2 log units between the overcast and street lighting conditions. On average, in overcast conditions, participants could detect detail around 1.6 times smaller on the LogMAR charts compared with street lighting. VA also significantly decreased when contrast was reduced from 70% to 50%, and from 50% to 30% in each of the ambient illumination conditions.

Practitioner summary: This article presents an experimental study that investigates the impact of everyday ambient illumination levels and contrast on older adults' VA. Results show that both factors have a significant effect on their VA. Findings suggest that environmental conditions need to be accounted for in older adult capability data-sets/designs.

Impact and interest:

3 citations in Scopus
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3 citations in Web of Science®

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ID Code: 59979
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Additional Information: PMID: 23528053
Keywords: inclusive design, capability data, visual acuity, ambient illumination, contrast
DOI: 10.1080/00140139.2013.770926
ISSN: 1366-5847
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > ENGINEERING DESIGN (120400) > Engineering Design Empirical Studies (120401)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 Taylor & Francis
Copyright Statement: This is an Author's Accepted Manuscript of an article published in Ergonomics, Volume 56, Issue 5, 2013, copyright Taylor & Francis, available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/00140139.2013.770926
Deposited On: 26 May 2013 23:08
Last Modified: 01 Apr 2014 19:31

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