New LED Integrated Stools Monitor Body Posture While Seating

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Researchers unveiled new pressure sensing stool incorporated with LED lights, which guides user regarding improper seating position

Sitting in same position for long period of time can result into serious health issues such as obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disorders. Researchers from Germany Fraunhofer Institutes for Industrial Engineering and for Silicate Research developed an LED-equipped stool that guide individuals on maintaining body posture while sitting. The stool is integrated with LED’s and several pressure sensitive sensors, which comprise an insulating film sandwiched by two electrode layers made of conductive silicone.

The stool works by measuring weight distribution, which reveals sitting angles of an individual. It detects improper body posture along with amount of time user is seated. Furthermore, the collected data is wirelessly transmitted to a computer or mobile device and it is processed by a custom app and then transmitted back to the stool. As a response, LED lights are illuminated in specific colors, which indicate that users need to change sitting position. Moreover, to know what the problem is, user can consult the app screen to see a video. That app guides through exercises intended to alleviate problems caused by their improper posture, with the sensors detecting if they’re doing the exercises correctly.

Fraunhofer is currently demonstrating the system on Germany’s MS Wissenschaft exhibition ship, in a setup where two players control their movements in a game of electronic table tennis by swinging their pelvis on a couple of the stools. Furthermore, researchers are working on integrating the sensor technology in practical applications, such as mats and office chairs.

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