LED stool for backache

"Smart" stool detects wrong posture and lack of exercise

The LED stool supports healthy sitting. © Fraunhofer IAO
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Exercise trainers of the unusual kind: Researchers have developed a seat stool that detects and reports incorrect postures and too little movement by itself. Using LED lights and app he indicates when the sitter should change his posture or take a break from exercise. The intelligent seating furniture should thus contribute to bring more exercise into everyday life and prevent back pain and other diseases.

Many of us spend most of our day sitting down: eating, driving to work, in the office, and later on the sofa. But those who do not exercise enough increase their risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and an earlier death. The hours of sitting hurt even otherwise athletic people, as studies show. The long sitting also causes tension and posture - which in turn causes back pain.

An unconscious "fidgeting" during the sitting phases and an ergonomic posture, which is regularly interrupted by movement phases, can remedy this situation.

Sitzhocker as a personal trainer

To specifically support this, researchers from the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO and the Institute for Silicate Research ISC have now designed an "intelligent stool" for healthy sitting and moving. The equipped with sensors and LEDs seat stool is via color signal or alternatively via an app feedback, whether ergonomically sitting.

"Through many interviews with stakeholders, companies and experts, we found that there is a strong need for aids that support back health while sitting, " explains Truong Le of the Fraunhofer IAO. "It is important that you have to invest a little time." Display

Pressure sensors detect weight distribution

In the stool, several pressure sensors recognize the posture of the occupant based on the weight distribution in the seat. For example, they register oblique or too long sitting in the same position. The pressure sensors consist of two electrode layers of conductive silicone with an insulating film layer in between. By this construction they are soft and let and let embed also in flexible materials.

The evaluation of the data is transmitted to a PC, laptop, tablet or smartphone. If the user is sitting incorrectly or too long, there will be a reminder about feedback in the seat. On request, an ad on the screen or a statistic over a certain period appears. If necessary, a concrete request is made to move. By video tutorial you can perform certain Bewegungsübungen, which also register the sensors.

At MS Wissenschaft, the researchers are presenting a special version of their intelligent stool, which is integrated into a movement game: hip movements recorded by the sensors are used here to play a ping-pong game on the screen with the Ges to control.

(Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, 03.05.2018 - NPO)