Ergonomic Monitors by Grace Yuan

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As an Interior Designer who has spent a lot of time working with furniture and space, I have a deep understanding of the ergonomic measurements of human bodies and how our bodies interact with the environment. Therefore I built the following three ergonomic monitors to help the user keep up a good ergonomic habit, stay healthy and work efficiently. All of the three prototypes are Body/Environmental Switches that are activated by the interactions between the user’s body and their environment, using LED lights as indicators.

The inspiration also comes from my real working experience. When I used to sit in the office for the entire day, my colleagues and I always reminded each other to correct the postures every time we walked past by each other’s desk. Posture is so important and also so easy to be forgotten. I hope this prototype I made can be further developed into a real product that can help computer users to stay away from any physical pains caused by the wrong posture.

1.Sitting Posture Monitor – Back

Demo GIF

demo-3-1-480-trimmed

full video: https://youtu.be/T3oyveVMJ-g

Description

Sitting Posture Monitor – Back is an ergonomic reminder that helps the user to correct their posture when sitting at a task chair. No matter it’s at home or in an office, keeping a good sitting posture is always important. There are many cases of computer users getting back pain, neck pain, and shoulder pain because of the wrong posture. Leaning against the chair back is a significant part of the correct sitting posture. By doing so, the user released the weight to the chair and gained the support of the back and the lower back. It also keeps the user’s head straight and up, preventing the user from getting neck pain. 

This device is a straightforward indicator of whether the user is leaning on the back of the chair. It is a Body/Environmental Switch that is triggered by the interaction between the user’s shoulder/back and their chair. When the user’s shoulder or upper back touches the top of the chair back, releasing pressure on the device sensor switch, the red light turned off. When the user is not leaning against the back of the chair, which means there is no pressure on the switch, the red LED light turns on, reminding the user to adjust their sitting posture. The switch is made of conductive copper tapes and aluminum foil, wrapped with acrylic felt. The felt is in a grey color which blends in with the grey mesh material of the back of the chair perfectly.

Materials and Parts

Acrylic felt
Copper tapes
Velcro tapes
Regular threads
Aligator Clips
Half breadboard
Arduino Nano 33 IOT
Extension jumper wires
Red LED light
Wires
USB cable
Aluminum foil  

Detailed Photos
img_1494 img_1499 img_1505img_1562
Discussion

Currently, the circuits and wires are all exposed which becomes a tripping hazard. For future iteration, I would solder the wires to the Arduino, and hide the wires inside the mesh back of the chair. For a more advanced application, the switch can be built in a way that is completely integrated into the chair, and the LED light will be recessed on the tip of the armrest.

2.Sitting Posture Monitor – Legs

Demo GIF

demo-3-3-480_3

Description

Sitting Posture Monitor – Legs is an ergonomic reminder that helps the user to correct their leg posture when sitting in a chair. The concept is similar to the last prototype, to monitor the user’s movement and warn them once a bad posture is detected.

From a personal perspective, I often find myself sitting with my legs crossed. This is actually a bad habit because such a position usually promotes a bad posture and can cause a temporary increase in blood pressure. With this leg position, it is difficult to sit up straight.

The monitor device is a strap to wear around the user’s thigh. As soon as the user crosses their legs, the other leg puts pressure on the one leg wearing the device, the device will be activated. A red LED light will turn on to remind the user of their leg posture.

Materials and Parts

Acrylic felt
Copper tapes
Velcro tapes
Regular threads
Aligator Clips
Half breadboard
Arduino Nano 33 IOT
Extension jumper wires
Red LED light
Wires
USB cable
Aluminum foil

Detailed Photos

img_1540 img_1554

Discussion

The device is a bit too large right now. It may be too much work for the user to wear this device. For the next iteration, I would minimize the scale and improve the design to be more flexible and portable. Another potential improvement will be the pairing the device. Based on common experience, one person would cross their legs both ways – the left leg on the top or the right leg on the top. It’s necessary to consider making the device into a pair for both legs, so the user’s leg movements will be fully detected.

3.Wrist Rest Monitor

Demo GIF

demo-3-2-480

Description

Wrist Rest Monitor is an ergonomic device that reminds mouse users to place their wrist against the surface while providing cushion to reduce the wrist fatigue. Wrist rest pads are known for reducing existing wrist pain and help prevent the user from developing Carpal Tunnel.

It is a Body/Environmental Switch that is triggered by the interaction between the user’s wrist and the wrist rest. When the user’s wrist is leaning against the wrist rest, releasing pressure on the device sensor switch, the red light turned off. When the user’s wrist is not leaning against the wrist rest, which means there is no pressure on the switch, the red LED light turns on, reminding the user to relax their wrist.

Materials and Parts

Acrylic felt
Copper tapes
Velcro tapes
Regular threads
Aligator Clips
Half breadboard
Arduino Nano 33 IOT
Extension jumper wires
Red LED light
Wires
USB cable
Conductive threads
Aluminum foil

Detailed Photos

img_1513 img_1519 img_1520 img_1521

Discussion

Alligator clips are used to power the device. For future iteration, I would solder the wires to the Arduino, hide the wires inside the wrist rest, power the circuit with a coin cell, and fill the wrist rest with more cotton for cushioning.

Arduino Code 

The first and the third prototypes:

https://github.com/graceyuanjq/Ergonomic-Monitors/blob/main/Arduino%20Code%201%263

The second prototype:

https://github.com/graceyuanjq/Ergonomic-Monitors/blob/main/Arduino%20Code%202

Circuit Diagram For All Three Prototypes

circuit

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