The effects of selected urban environments on the autonomic balance in the Elderly: A pilot study

Izhak Schnell, Limor Dor, Emanuel Tirosh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

A group of Elderly was asked to travel in four urban environments in order to test the effects of a set of four environmental factors: noise, social load, thermal load and CO on their heart rate variability. We asked whether out of home trips in urban any urban environment is recommended regardless in of the environmental conditions outside home. We show that elderly are mainly vulnerable to environmental factors such as social and noise loads that affect their levels of HRV regardless of the type of place they visit including urban parks on the one hand and central city environments on the other one. We find also that although elderly HRV responses are deteriorating with age and reduction in health conditions, it is still a useful indicator of stress and risk for health. Most important it appears that social loads are the main environmental factor influencing HRV. This confirms studies about the vulnerability of elderly to stereotyping and social risks in public spaces and it shows that such fears have physiological effects on the elderly.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4903-4909
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Multidisciplinary Engineering Science and Technology
Volume3
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2016

Keywords

  • Urban
  • Elderly
  • autonomic function

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