The general public, and even those with limited mobility (HMD), may view the consequences of having to walk too far or stand too long as relatively trivial or benign. Research data, however, confirm that there can be serious health consequences. Here are the consequences if those with limited mobility walk beyond what is comfortable for them:
- Increased joint pain
- Walk more slowly until almost not moving
- Increased difficulty breathing
- Have trouble walking at all the next day
- Begin to stagger and lose balance
- Become immobilized by pain
- Increased muscle spasms
While some people with limited mobility can control joint pain with anti-inflammatory medication, 22% of those surveyed reported that, for medical reasons, they could not take anti-inflammatory medication.
This can be a life or death issue. Among the most serious incidents, a woman with limited mobility who had requested wheelchair assistance but been pressured by airline staff to walk fell backwards on an escalator to her death at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport.