Design of an intelligent posture guidance system for workspace seating.
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Seating is an integral part of work environment. When people are at work, they often sit in chairs for long periods of time without changing postures. This results in reduced blood circulation in the body, especially in the buttock-thigh area causing muscle fatigue, pain and discomfort. Ergonomically designed task chairs adopt a passive approach to guiding people into better postures by providing adjustability inside the chair. However most people do not adjust their chairs because they fail to sense the need for changing posture. They are left to sensing the need to change posture through guesswork or extreme discomfort. This thesis proposes a new system to address this problem by sensing static posture in a seated person with the use of electronic sensors embedded in the seat, and by providing interactive feedback to static posture via sound, light and tactile channels. The new technology is an sensing-feedback mechanism embedded in a chair, that allows people to receive postural information and make body adjustments periodically to avoid pain and discomfort caused by prolonged seating.The feedback mechanism was tested with four subjects to determine its efficacy in generating posture change through pressure relief and user feedback was gathered in order to design the final prototype.