Economy of action and pedestrians in the built environment

Ekawati, Febriani Fajar (2018). Economy of action and pedestrians in the built environment. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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One public health approach to increase lifestyle physical activity is increasing choice to climb stairs instead of using the escalator or lift. Nonetheless, pedestrians in the built environment tend to avoid it. Proffitt’s economy of action model explained that pedestrian locomotor choices might influenced by perception. The first study (n=870) revisited Shaffer and Flint (2011) by asking participants to estimate the angle of an escalator. Participants reported an escalator that was moving upwards as less steep than a stationary one or one moving downwards. The second study (n=849), conducted in Indonesia, assessed the potential effects of temperature and humidity on a) speed of climbing an outdoor staircase and b) estimates of the angle. Chosen speed is an index of the allocation of resources. As temperature increased, speed of climbing reduced. For perception, both temperature and humidity influenced the explicit estimate of the angle; as climatic variables increased, perceptions became more exaggerated. Study three (n=730) and four (n=307), in the UK, are a concomitant study that investigated pedestrians’ behaviour approaching the choice-point and examined the relationship between behaviour choice and perceived steepness of a staircase. Results revealed that individuals who climbed the stairs walked faster than those who avoided them. Unlike a previous study, exaggeration of perceived steepness of the stairs did not affect pedestrians’ choice behaviour. Collectively, these findings suggest that availability energetic resources influence the overestimation of perceived steepness. In addition, natural variation in climate not only affects explicit perceptions but also directly influence both walking and climbing behaviour.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Life & Environmental Sciences
School or Department: School of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences
Funders: Other
Other Funders: Ministry of Research, Technology and Higher Education, Indonesia
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GV Recreation Leisure
Q Science > QP Physiology


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