More and more people perform their work sitting down. Even on well-designed office chairs, bad sitting posture can lead to health problems such as back pain. Explaining users about the correct sitting posture is not enough to improve posture in practice. By creating a smart chair postures are monitored and (tactile) feedback is provided to the user.
The aim of the project was to see whether the additional smartness of the chair were effective; Do people sit in a biomechanical optimal (fully supported) position a greater part of the time? In addition, a sub-goal was to create scientific output.
In this project, the responsibility for assuming correct posture is transferred from the user to the chair. A ‘Smart Chair‘ was fitted with six pressure sensors and one angle sensor. Every second the chair calculates a grade indicating the quality of the sitting posture. When the grade is too low for too long, the user receives feedback through a vibration signal under the right thigh. Extensive user tests have shown the chair to have a significantly positive effect on sitting posture. The chair has been developed into a commercial product called Axia Smart Chair. In addition, the sensor and feedback technology is separately available to be built into other chairs.