ugg boots ebay ‘Winter tire’ boot aims to thwart icy falls
SubscriptionsGo to the Subscriptions Centre to manage your:My ProfileDespite the summer weather outside, researchers at the Toronto Rehabilitation Institute are donning parkas and heading into a frigid lab to design a winter boot that helps prevent slips and falls on ice.At the institute’s climate controlled laboratory, student researcher Jennifer Hsu is trying to determine how and why winter falls occur with the aim of designing a boot that helps people stay sure footed on a variety of winter surfaces.Researcher Jennifer Hsu watches as a subject tests footwear on a patch of ice in the Controlled Climate Performance Lab in Toronto. ((Patrick Dell/Canadian Press))For now, Hsu, who studies the biomechanics of gait, is focusing specifically on the kind of falls that postal workers experience. Mail carriers are particularly at risk of slipping and falling since they work outdoors in all types of weather and on all kinds of surfaces.”The reason why we’re focusing on postal workers is because they’re young and healthy and agile, but at the same time, they also experience all these problems of slips, trips and falls,” said Hsu, a PhD candidate in biomedical and mechanical engineering at the University of Toronto.”They have a lot of lost hours due to accidents because of this.”The climate controlled lab resembles a walk in freezer whose temperature can be set from 20 C to 35 C. In the lab, volunteers willing to slip for science don down jackets and stride across walkways that mimic various surfaces, such as steep ramps or ice covered stairs.Volunteers wear a safety harness to stop them from actually hitting the floor while motion sensors record their movements so Hsu can later determine how their body moved. For example, she looks at how much a heel slipped when it met the ice and at what velocity.Hsu is also testing how people walk in different types of footwear, depending on the degree of friction and the type of surface.Research suggests people are most susceptible to falling when it is around 0 C outside and a thin layer of water forms or after a thick layer of snow falls on top of ice.Black ice tripped up postal workerIt was black ice, or ice under snow, that caused Canada Post letter carrier Sandy Laflamme’s fall last winter.The cleats and tread on a pair of Canada Post’s existing boots. ((CBC))As the Toronto woman went to put mail in a mail box on a porch, her foot twisted, jerking her knee and rendering her unable to walk down the stairs. She had ligament problems in her knee as a result and was off work for a month.