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Phys Ther. 1988 Sep;68(9):1371-3.

Functional ambulation velocity and distance requirements in rural and urban communities. A clinical report.

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St. Mary of the Plains Hospital, Lubbock, TX 79410.


The purposes of this clinical report are 1) to document the distances and velocities that individuals must ambulate to function independently in their community and 2) to demonstrate the differences in travel distances and velocities among communities of various sizes. In seven communities of different sizes, we measured distances from a designated parking space to commonly frequented sites (eg, stores, post offices, banks, and medical buildings). We also measured street widths and the time allowed by crossing signals to cross streets safely. From these data, we calculated the velocities needed to safely cross streets in each community. The study results showed that ambulation distances and velocities vary depending on the size of the community and that for individuals to function independently within their community, they must ambulate at velocities and distances much greater than the ambulation objectives that may be set at most rehabilitation settings. Based on the results of this study, we suggest that they receive the majority of their patients to more accurately prepare patients for functional independence after rehabilitation discharge.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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