Mobility Design Project

Hi !

I am a product design student and I am currently starting a project to help improve mobility for elderly people, developing a special luggage.

Not everybody with Fibromyalgia is over 60, I know that, but actually I want some help to see what problems people with those conditions have with their luggage while travelling, it would be really helpful.

I would be really happy if you could tell me your problems related to travelling and your luggage (packing, carrying it, how do you get to the airport and all that).

Thank you so much!

14 Replies

  • Hiya

    My problem is wheeling a luggage trolley as I have shoulder pain so even an empty suitcase pulled along behind me by a lever in the usual way is very uncomfortable on my shoulder and arm.

    I know it's an issue for everyone wheeling a trolley case up and down kerbs if they are not dipped enough and not flat BUT The clunk of going down a dip or off a kerb rattles through my arm and shoulder, the pain not always immediate and can build into a full flare up.

    Lifting a case is impossible for me and there's no way I can make the movement to put anything in an overhead plan locker due to shoulder pain.

    My fibromyalgia makes me forgetful so a way of knowing what is packed that might be in the bottom of the case would help - I could write a list but if forget to look at it ha ha I'd also benefit from a case that crams itself shut and zips itself when overfilled as I always bring too much crap back

    I think the key is getting someone else to do it, not sure if anything design wise can help but worth a try.

    Ps I'm not over 60 in age but my disability puts me in a category that needs as much if not more as any older person with the general conditions that come with old age 😂

    Good luck with your studies 👍🏻

  • I used to have the same problems with shopping trollys, the sort you pull behind you. the shops trollys are actually a big help.

    Hubby always comes with me now and he pulls it.

  • A handle that's not fiddly to extend & ergonomic to hold. robust while light weight. Wheels - shock absorbant? Wheel without tilting?

  • The bigger the wheel the less bumpy the ups and downs will be. I too have difficulty pulling luggage behind me due to neck and shoulder pain. I also have painful hands and if they have to be in a grip position for any length of time they swell.

    For walking any distance I use a rollator so would be unable to pull luggage anyway, something that could be easily pushed without going sideways and off course would be a blessing.

    Thank you for taking the time to ask those of us affected how we feel. If more designers did this then there wouldn't be so many useless products on the market.


  • i agree with everything my fellow sufferers have said. I was a business journalist but changed professions as I could no longer travel with fibro. I also find it nearly impossible standing in queues at the airport waiting to check in etc. a case with some sort of stool incorporated into the design would be fantastic.

  • Combining luggage carrying with a rollator as mobility is a common problem and many rollators have bags or baskets expanding the concept would be useful.

  • As above but a bigger tag on the zip as I find it too small. So that it doesnt catch perhaps a velcro cover or slider where it meets in the middle of the suitcase.

  • Agree with many of the suggestions so I would like better zips, I find them tough to move sometimes so something easier to hold. I also struggle when coming through security.

  • I agree with the others though I do very little travelling now.

    Something that you can sit on in queues on platforms or at airports would be great. Standing is one of the most difficult things.

    Perhaps a tad motorized, like a cycle battery- although that would increase the weight, it would assist when going up ramps or stairs or long distances in airports. A large outside pocket for documents-eg. a packing list, travel instructions and maps.

    Larger wheels are essential. Those small suitcase wheels are useless on anything other than indoor surfaces.

    It must be lightweight.

    It must have multiple handles so one can change one's grip or easier when trying to manoeuvre it in the back of cars, lockers etc.

    Look forward to seeing your design soon.

  • I agree with all that's been said.

    4 multi-directional wheels;

    light but strong;

    no tilting;;

    maybe a fitting to allow it to attach to, or be towed by, a scooter / pushed by a rollator;

    not too pricey.

    good luck!

  • What a wonderful thing you are doing :)

    I have trouble lifting a case, not too bad at wheeling it but have trouble pushing the handle up and down. It hurts my hands to wheel it so I'd recommend a soft handle I found it so Easy to use the luggage trolly from the Scotrail moblity point it made my case so light and the handle was soft and didn't hurt my hands hope that helps.

  • Hi, what we need is really easy closing a that don't require strength as this is an issue ,also wheels that turn all the way around .I can't remember what it's called but for good mobility .

    Just anything that is light for us to move around and lift before and after filling .Thanks ,by the way I was 12 years old when I started with fibromyalgia so anything g you can to for my tired sick body can only be a bonus .xx

  • Ps I love the idea of a stool Fonegirl

    7 hours agoFonegirl

    i agree with everything my fellow sufferers have said. I was a business journalist but changed professions as I could no longer travel with fibro. I also find it nearly impossible standing in queues at the airport waiting to check in etc. a case with some sort of stool incorporated into the design would be fantastic.


  • As wheelchair user I'm pretty much covered. My backpack - yes, the one I used to put on my back - fits the back of the chair just the same as my back. On trains and buses it makes me that much longer but once checked at airport I'm free to fly :-)

    A note to my fellow fibromites, get help at airports, the airline you're setting off with need a days notice and you'll get help all the way. Same with trains, let them know and you will be met on and off trains/transfers. This applies for anyone who struggles to walk the distance but not because you have too much luggage.

    Sorry, that's a bit off topic:-/

    Due to my backpacking experiences in earlier years as a fibromite I wonder if some people might find a soft bag. tall enough to hold a really comfy handle without having to struggle with a telescopic one, on 'any direction' wheels obviously. Always wished mine had wheels.

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