INCREASED INDIVIDUAL SIZE AND ITS POTENTIAL EFFECTS ON EMERGENCY EVACUATION SCENARIOS
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The increase in human body size due to obesity and overweight conditions is recognized as becoming more prevalent throughout the world. The effect which increased body size and weight has on movement has been examined from a kinesiological and physiological standpoint. Its effect on egress during emergency evacuation has largely remained unstudied. This study reviews current data on body size using modeling software to examine the potential impact an increase in body size has on evacuation times and whether that impact is significant enough to warrant potential changes to current code and regulatory requirements. The change in body size distribution is analyzed and tests are conducted at increasing body size intervals of 0.025 meters for six different scenarios. Results indicate that an increase of 0.225 meters to a body radius increases evacuation times in simple scenarios between 12% and 72%.