Development and Evaluation of Rollator for Elderly Farmers Lee, Kyung Suk; Kim, Kyung Ran; Kim, Hyo Cher; Chae, Hye Seon; Kim, Sung Woo; Seo, Min Tae;
Objective: This study aims to develop and evaluate a multi-purpose rollator, which may be used as a seat, as a traditional walker, or as a storage basket for elderly farmers. Background: The rollators on the market are not user-friendly designed and seen inconvenient for elderly farmers to use, although they are sold at considerably high price. Since they lack enough space to load stuffs and are not durable or stable enough, they do not seem to be suitable for elderly farmers to use in rural areas. Method: Two types of methods were used in this study. First, the survey consisted of 19 questions was conducted among elderly farmers in rural areas, after using the developed rollator, to evaluate the usability of the rollator developed in this study. Second, EMG experiment was conducted to compare the existing rollator and developed rollator quantitatively. Through this experiment, we tried to verify the differences of muscle responses, when using the traditional and the developed ones, which have their own brake system, in the ramp. Results: The developed rollator was highly evaluated in most of the questions in the usability survey, except for the 'Weight' category in which the opinions were divided into three different types (Worse: 31%, Similar: 30%, Better: 36%). The result of EMG experiment showed that the existing rollator (7.4%MVC) demands more muscle strength than the developed rollator (5.5%MVC) does. By statistically analyzing the results of upper limb and lower limb respectively, we found out that all the muscles except deltoid in upper limb showed statistically significant differences in muscle activity when using the existing and the developed rollator. However, there was no statistical difference in lower limb muscles. Conclusion: The developed rollator in this study has maximized the functionality of the brake system, the storage and the chair, which were pointed out as the weaknesses of existing rollators. Furthermore, the developed rollator is designed to be more user-friendly, safe, durable, and effective for elderly farmers to use in rural areas, where roads are rough and bumpy. Application: We expect that the emergency brake system developed in this study would be utilized for other convenience equipment, such as strollers and carts, and that it would be able to develop and produce more secure and reliable equipment in the future.