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Aftab E. Patla and Anne Shumway-Cook

Mobility, the ability to move independently, is critical to maintaining independence and quality of life. Among older adults, mobility disability results when an individual cannot meet the demands of the environment. Current approaches to defining mobility rely on distance and time measures, or decompose mobility into subtasks (e.g., climbing, sit to stand), but provide limited understanding of mobility in the elderly. In this paper, a new conceptual framework identifies the critical environmental factors, or dimensions, that operationally define mobility within a given community, such as ambient conditions (light levels, weather conditions) and terrain characteristics (stairs, curbs). Our premise is that the environment and the individual conjointly determine mobility disability. Mobility in the elderly is defined not by the number of tasks a person can or cannot perform, but by the range of environmental contexts in which tasks can be safely carried out: the more disabled, the more restrictive the dimensions.

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Sandra C. Webber, Francine Hahn, Lisa M. Lix, Brenda J. Tittlemier, Nancy M. Salbach, and Ruth Barclay

and complexity of free-living physical activity patterns in well-functioning older adults . Gerontology, 64 ( 6 ), 603 – 611 . PubMed ID: 29972821 doi:10.1159/000490310 10.1159/000490310 Patla , A.E. , & Shumway-Cook , A. ( 1999 ). Dimensions of mobility: Defining the complexity and

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Jacinta I. Foster, Katrina L. Williams, Barbra H.B. Timmer, and Sandra G. Brauer

, A.E. , & Shumway-Cook , A. ( 1999 ). Dimensions of mobility: Defining the complexity and difficulty associated with community mobility . Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, 7 ( 1 ), 7 – 19 . https://doi.org/10.1123/japa.7.1.7 10.1123/japa.7.1.7 Powell , L. , & Myers , A. ( 1995

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Olayinka Akinrolie, Sandra C. Webber, Nancy M. Salbach, and Ruth Barclay

Measurement, 35 ( 2 ), 129 – 138 . PubMed ID: 24399138 doi:10.1088/0967-3334/35/2/129 10.1088/0967-3334/35/2/129 Patla , A.E. , & Shumway-Cook , A. ( 1999 ). Dimensions of mobility: Defining the complexity and difficulty associated with community mobility . Journal of Aging and Physical Activity, 7

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Dominika Bhatia, Nancy M. Salbach, Olayinka Akinrolie, Kyla Alsbury-Nealy, Renato Barbosa dos Santos, Parvin Eftekhar, Hal Loewen, Erica Nekolaichuk, Chelsea Scheller, Rebecca Schorr, Stephanie Scodras, and Ruth Barclay

. Clinical Rehabilitation, 25 ( 5 ), 451 – 459 . https://doi.org/10.1177/0269215510389200 10.1177/0269215510389200 Patla , A. , & Shumway-Cook , A. ( 1999 ). Dimensions of mobility: Defining the complexity and difficulty associated with community mobility . Journal of Aging and Physical Activity