A team of researchers have developed an LED stool with pressure sensors to help combat back pain.
Sitting for long hours can be damaging to health as a lack of movement can put people at risk of developing various conditions. One health risk from prolonged sitting is backaches. Researchers at Fraunhofer IAO and Silicate Research ISC have developed a new solution to help people suffering from back pain. A team of researchers have designed an LED stool that monitors a person’s posture and sitting time using pressure sensors. The stool collects this information in order to promote proper exercise to users. Fitted with sensors and LEDs, the stool sends feedback to users using an app or a colour signal.
The purpose of the pressure sensors is to monitor the weight distribution in the stool. From this, the sensors can detect whether the user has incorrect posture. Poor posture may occur for example if a person remains sitting in the same position for too long. After collecting this data, the stool transmits it to a chosen digital device such as a smartphone, laptop or tablet. Here, the user can view statistics regarding their posture and sitting periods. If the statistics show a user has been sitting with the incorrect posture, it will prompt them to start moving. In addition, the stool acts as a personal trainer, sharing video exercise guides with the user. As the user performs these movements, the pressure sensors detect them.
Furthermore, the researchers will be presenting the stool at the 2018 MS Wissenschaft. They will be exhibiting a special version of the stool which introduces a gaming element to the exercise. Users will perform guided hip movements to control an on screen game of ping-pong. Here at Springwise, we have previously published many innovative smart devices that help prevent and alleviate health problems. These include a device that detects bacteria in wounds and a device that helps counter menopausal hot flushes. What other health conditions may benefit from the development of an assistive smart device?