A beep to disturb sedentary office workers

HRM 21 Dec 2012

To prevent the risk of ‘chair disease', researchers have developed a ‘sitting pad' device that uses an alarm to alert workers to stand up more regularly.

The sitting pad emits a beep when the occupational sitter needs to get up and move. Any sneaky chair lingerers who think they can out-smart the sensors by quickly slumping back down will simply fire the sensor again.

The University of Queensland School of Human Movement Studies research team developed the device to tackle health problems related to sitting down too often.

PhD student Gemma Ryde said sitting down too often could cause heart disease, diabetes, obesity and back, neck, wrist and shoulder injuries. “Sitting for large portions of the day is associated with poor health outcomes and a reduced life expectancy, even for those people who might be considered physically active,” Ryde said.

The studies found that the sitting pad is a highly accurate measurement tool that can objectively measure desk based sitting time and the number of times employees get up from their own desk.

Ryde said the sitting pad measures the time a worker spends sitting at their desk using a medical grade pressure sensor and custom made microcontroller to record a timestamp each time an employee sits down or stands up.



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