This proposal concerns a chair pad, which monitors the body posture of the sitting user and alarms the user upon detection of incorrect body position or after prolonged sitting. The said chair pad is equipped with pressure sensors in order to measure the forces on back-pad and seat-pad. These sensors communicate with a computer in which, based on the collected data, the status of the user will be determined. This status will be further used to alarm the user about any incorrect sitting position. This pad has an adhesive surface, by which the pad adheres to the seat panel and backrest of any office or computer chair.
While sitting in a chair, our back muscles are working actively to support the weight of the top half of the body. Therefore, sitting in a chair for extended periods of time can become quite strenuous on the body and may cause incorrect body posture, which may increase the risk of developing bowel cancer, heart attack, blood clotting, obesity, back pain, and dementia. To minimize these risks, one must assume a correct posture and avoid prolonged sitting . The market segment offers different computer or office chairs, however, none is to enforce the correct posture. This proposal is set out to avoid these problems by monitoring the body posture and enforcing the correct sitting posture by warning the user.
SUMMARY OF THE PROPOSAL
We propose to mount a set of pressure sensors integrally in a chair pad. This pad can be adhered to any office chair. The pad is also equipped with
• a wireless transmitter unit, e.g. bluetooth transmitter, which conveys the collected data from the sensors to the computer,
• a central processing unit, e.g. AVR microprocessor, which reads the sensory data and controls the wireless transmitter unit,
• a power unit, which provides power supply for all the involved units in the pad.
The sensory data will be logged and also processed in a real-time manner by a software in the computer in order to calculate the internal forces of the sitting user and to examine the appropriate state of the body in the chair. This analysis can be used to alarm the user upon detection of incorrect body position or after prolonged sitting.
PRODUCTION COST AND MARKET POTENTIAL
Thanks to the emerging health awareness in workplace and also among home computer users, we envision a very promising market for this product. Since the said pad features easy installation and removal, it can be sold as a chair accessory. We also contemplate integrating the said pad into a chair and presenting it as a complete solution to the market, which will enlarge its market target. The potential market segment includes office workers and computer users. We also estimate a production cost of 150$ for a single product in Canada, however, mass production will dramatically reduce the cost.