WO2008119106A1 - A method and an aid to alert a person to the need to assume a correct back posture position during sitting on a seat - Google Patents

A method and an aid to alert a person to the need to assume a correct back posture position during sitting on a seat Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2008119106A1
WO2008119106A1 PCT/AU2008/000414 AU2008000414W WO2008119106A1 WO 2008119106 A1 WO2008119106 A1 WO 2008119106A1 AU 2008000414 W AU2008000414 W AU 2008000414W WO 2008119106 A1 WO2008119106 A1 WO 2008119106A1
Authority
WO
WIPO (PCT)
Prior art keywords
sensor
person
seat
posture
correct
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/AU2008/000414
Other languages
French (fr)
Inventor
Liam James Magee
Original Assignee
Liam James Magee
Priority date (The priority date is an assumption and is not a legal conclusion. Google has not performed a legal analysis and makes no representation as to the accuracy of the date listed.)
Filing date
Publication date
Priority to AU2007901471A priority Critical patent/AU2007901471A0/en
Priority to AU2007901471 priority
Application filed by Liam James Magee filed Critical Liam James Magee
Publication of WO2008119106A1 publication Critical patent/WO2008119106A1/en

Links

Classifications

    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47CCHAIRS; SOFAS; BEDS
    • A47C7/00Parts, details, or accessories of chairs or stools
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A47FURNITURE; DOMESTIC ARTICLES OR APPLIANCES; COFFEE MILLS; SPICE MILLS; SUCTION CLEANERS IN GENERAL
    • A47CCHAIRS; SOFAS; BEDS
    • A47C7/00Parts, details, or accessories of chairs or stools
    • A47C7/36Support for the head or the back
    • A47C7/40Support for the head or the back for the back
    • A47C7/46Support for the head or the back for the back with special, e.g. adjustable, lumbar region support profile; "Ackerblom" profile chairs
    • A47C7/462Support for the head or the back for the back with special, e.g. adjustable, lumbar region support profile; "Ackerblom" profile chairs adjustable by mechanical means
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B5/00Measuring for diagnostic purposes; Identification of persons
    • A61B5/103Detecting, measuring or recording devices for testing the shape, pattern, colour, size or movement of the body or parts thereof, for diagnostic purposes
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B5/00Measuring for diagnostic purposes; Identification of persons
    • A61B5/103Detecting, measuring or recording devices for testing the shape, pattern, colour, size or movement of the body or parts thereof, for diagnostic purposes
    • A61B5/11Measuring movement of the entire body or parts thereof, e.g. head or hand tremor, mobility of a limb
    • A61B5/1116Determining posture transitions
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B2503/00Evaluating a particular growth phase or type of persons or animals
    • A61B2503/20Workers
    • A61B2503/24Computer workstation operators
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B5/00Measuring for diagnostic purposes; Identification of persons
    • A61B5/48Other medical applications
    • A61B5/486Bio-feedback
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A61MEDICAL OR VETERINARY SCIENCE; HYGIENE
    • A61BDIAGNOSIS; SURGERY; IDENTIFICATION
    • A61B5/00Measuring for diagnostic purposes; Identification of persons
    • A61B5/68Arrangements of detecting, measuring or recording means, e.g. sensors, in relation to patient
    • A61B5/6887Arrangements of detecting, measuring or recording means, e.g. sensors, in relation to patient mounted on external non-worn devices, e.g. non-medical devices
    • A61B5/6891Furniture

Abstract

The present invention describes a method and system that is used to alert a person to the need to assume a correct backposition during sitting on a seat, using a sensor responsive to pressure, contact or presence of the person's back at a position relative to the seat that coincides with a correct backposture position of the person seating in the seat. Furthermore the method and the system are providing a signal consequent on the sensor sensing the absence of the person assuming a correct backposition and using the signal to alert the person to the need to assume a correct backposition; the alert can be sound or a visual display on a computer screen or the like or it can be using another means such as interruption of normal operation at a computer station.

Description

A METHOD TO ALERT A PERSON TO THE NEED TO ASSUME A CORRECT BACK POSTURE POSITION DURING SITTING ON A SEAT
This invention relates to a method and an aid to alert a person to the neod to assume a correct back posture position during sitting on a seat and has particular, although not exclusive application to use with a seat at a computer workstation to alert a person to incorrect back posture.
Incorrect back posture of persons sitting on a seat are normally attributable to the person leaning forwardly and not sitting upright. In the context of this patent specification the term "correct back posture position" is meant to embrace substantially correct upright back positioning, and is meant to embrace a normal correct sitting position of a keyboard operator at a computer device.
Hitherto, devices such as lumbar supports have been provided which can be integrated with a backrest of a seat. Alternatively such lumbar supports can be provided as a retrofit support that can be fastened to a backrest of a seat. Such supports are useful but there has been no way of providing an alert to the person if the person should assume an incorrect back posture position such as by leaning forwardly so that the back is inclined from an upright correct back posture position and away from the support .
The present invention attempts to address this issue
Therefore, according to a first broad aspect of the present invention there is provided a method to alert a person to the need to assume a correct back position during sitting on a seat comprising, providing a sensor responsive to pressure or contact, or presence of the person's back therewith at a position relative to the seat that will coincide with a correct back posture position of the person sitting on the seat, providing a signal consequent on the sensor sensing the absence of the person assuming a correct back posture position, and using the signal to alert the person to the need to assume a correct back posture position.
According to a further broad aspect of the present invention there is provided an aid for alerting a person to an incorrect back posture when seated on a seat, said aid comprising; a sensor responsive to pressure or contact or presence of a correct back posture of a person seated on the seat, said sensor being, in use, mountable at a correct back posture position relative to the seat, said sensor being in use, able to activate an alerting means consequent on the sensor sensing the absence of a person, assuming a correct back posture, and wherein said aid is provided with mounting means to permit said sensor to be mounted relative to said seat to sense correct back posture .
In order that the invention can be more clearly ascertained an example of a preferred embodiment of the invention applicable to use on a neat of a person working at a computer workstation will now be described wherein,
Figure 1 is a side elevational view diagrammatically showing a person sitting on a seat with a correct back posture and working at a computer workstation,
Figure 2 shows a perspective of one type of retrofit lumbar support that can be provided to the backrest of the seat,
Figure 3 is a transverse cross sectional view through the lumbar support shown in Figure 2 showing positioning of a sensor therein, and,
Figure 4 is a block schematic diagram showing electrical connections with the sensor and the computer workstation in another example,
Figure 5 is a block schematic electrical circuit diagram showing interconnection, of the sensor with a computer workstation in another example.
Whilst the preferred example is directed to use with a computer workstation, it should be appreciated that the invention is applicable to providing an alert in the event of a person sitting incorrectly on a seat and having an incorrect back posture. The invention is not to be limited to use solely with a seat at a computer workstation.
Referring firstly to Figure 1 it shows a person 1 correctly sitting on a seat at a computer workstation 5 and having a correct back posture. Here, the seat 1 has a backrest 7. A retrofit support 9, such as a lumbar support, is fixed to the backseat 7 by suitable fastening means such as straps that can be held taught by means of Velcro type releasable mounting means, or any other suitable mounting means. The function of the support 9 is to locate relative to the seat 3 so that when the person 1 is correctly sitting on the seat 3 in an upright position, the person's back will be in a correct back postυre position.
Figure 2 shows that the support 9 is generally elongate and has a flat back part 11 and a curved front face 13 that faces towards the person. The transverse cross sectional shape of the support 9 is generally "D" shaped. A pair of flexible straps 15 are fastened to ends 17 of the support 9 such as by stitching 19. The free ends of the straps 15 contain mounting means such as Velcro fasteners. In use, the support 9 is positioned at a correct height position relative to the seat 3 at the backrest 7. The straps 15 are then moved around the back of the backrest 7 and fastened together taught in order to retain the support 9 at a correct operational position. The support 9 can be fitted for lumbar support, or for shoulder support, or for merely making contact with the back of the person. This is diagrammaticalIy shown in Figure 1 in dotted lines.
Figure 3 shows a transverse cross sectional view of the support 9. The support 9 has an outer covering of a suitable material such as vinyl or cloth or other plastics sheet like material 21. There is an internal backing sheet 23 of a suitable rigid material such as plywood. A sensor 25 , such as a sensor switch, is mounted to the backing sheet 23 by mounting means such as by bolts or rivets 27 and positioned at generally centrally of the length of the lumbar support 9 and generally midway between tho top and bottom thereof . The sensor 25 has a forward protruding activation head 29. The head 29 is arranged for co-operation with a pressure transfer member 31 in the form of a sheet of semi rigid plastics material. This pressure transfer member 31 extends generally across the width of the Iumbar support 9. A soft foam rubber covering 33 is provided over the member 31 to provide for a soft feel against the person's back. Blocks 35 are provided below the sensor 25 and above the sensor 25 and permit a resiliant compression of the lumbar support 9. The blocks 35 may be made from synthetic rubber material such as foam, or polystyrene, or may, in fact, comprise spring type members. The purpose is to ensure that the pressure transfer member 31 is moved away from the head 23 when the person's back is not engaging with the support 9 on the front face 13 thereof, , and to provide for a slight resistance to compressive deformation of the support when the person's back is in the correct back posture position whilst allowing the sensor 25 to operate. In thisa example, the sensor 25 is a micro switch. In other embodiments the sansor 25 may comprise other type switches or may comprise a proximity sensor to sense the proximity of the person's back relative to the front 13 of the lumbal support 9. In still further embodiments, the sensor 25 may be mounted on the outside face of the lumbar support 9 or on the outer face of the backrest 7 of the seat 3. In other embodiments, the sensor 25 may be incorporated within the backrest 7 of the seat 3.
Figure 4 shows a block circuit schematic diagram of an example of how the sensor 25 of the support 9 interfaces with an alert providing means . In this example, the alert providing means is remote from the lumbar support 13 and the pressure sensor 25. In some embodiments, the alert may be provided directly with the sensor 25 locally such as in the backrest of the chair, or within the support 9 and in other cases, as in this case, remotely. In Figure 4, an electrical circuit 35 is shown through which an electrical signal can be provided consequent on the sensor 25 sensing the absence of the person assuming a correct back posture. The electrical signal can then be provided to an alert providing means. In this embodiment, the electrical signal 35 is provided to an interface 37, and the interface 37 communicates with the computer workstation 5. The interface 37 may be in the electrical power leads that communicate with the computer workstation 5 and act to interrupt supply of power to the computer workstation 5 thereby providing an alert to the person. In another embodiment, interface 37 may cause the computer workstation to act as the alerting means by one or more of alerts being provided as:
1. A visual display en a display screen or the computer workstation 5.
2. An audible sound or message to be initiated from the computer workstation 5 either directly therein or at some remote device connected therewith.
3. An interference to the normal operation of the computer workstation. This may occur by reason of displaying a message on the screen of the computer workstation that overlays any other screen display and requires the operator to assume a correct posture before the alert can be removed. Alternatively, it may interfere with operation of the actual display itself by turning off the display. It may also operate by interfering with operation of the keyboard, or mouse, such that in order for the computer to return to a normal operating condition, the user must assume a correct back posture.
Referring now to Fiqure 5, there is shown an alternative form of providing an interface between the sensor 25 and the computer workstation 5. In this case, a Bluetooth transmitter device 39 is associated with the sensor 25 locally therewith. The computer workstation 5 can have a Bluetooth device 41 fitted thereto. In this way, a wireless interface can bo provided between the sensor 25 and the computer workstation 5. A suitable application may be loaded on the computer workstation 5 to interface directly with the Bluetooth device 41 and to provide the necessary alert control. In an alternative embodiment, the Bluetooth device 41 may be provided as a USB connection Bluetooth device to the computer workstation 5, and may be supplied as a kit with the sensor 25 and the Bluetooth transmitter 39.
In the case where there is a display message provided on the display screen of the computer workstation 5 to alert the person to incorrect posture, the wording thereof may be chosen to suit the environment. In some cases the application in the workstation 5, may provide different display for each subsequent incorrect back posture.
It should be appreciated that the inventive concepts herein can be employed in many different ways and in some cases there can be hard wiring between the sensor 25 and the alert providing means, or in other cases there can be a wireless connection as described in relation to Figure 5.
In one example the aid may be operated mechanically, and the sensor 25 can be a lever or member that operates with an alert providing means such as an audible sound producing device operatively connected with the sensor. In this case all the components of the aid can be housed together. Accordingly, in this case, the release of back pressure on the sensor 25 will cause the sensor to activate the alert providing means to mechanically provide an alert such as an audible sound, such as a bell or the like sound reproducing device.
These and other modifications may be made without departing from the ambit of the invention the nature of which shall be determined from the foregoing description.

Claims

THE CLAIMS DEFINING THE INVENTION ARE AS FOLLOWS:
1. A method to alert a person to the need to assume a correct back position during sitting on a seat comprising, providing a sensor responsive to pressure or contact or presence of the person's back therewith at a position relative to the seat that will coincide with a correct back posture position of the person sitting on the seat, providing a signal consequent on the sensor sensing the absence of the person assuming a correct back posture position, and using the signal to alert the person to the need to assume a correct back posture position.
2. A method as claimed in claim 1 comprising, providing the sensor in or on a backrest part of said seat.
3. A method as claimed in claim 1, comprising, providing the sensor as a retrofit to a backrest part of the seat.
4. A method as claimed in claim 3 comprising, providing the sensor in or on a lumbar support that is fitable to the backrest of the seat.
5. A method as claimed, in any one of the preceding claims wherein the seat is a seat for use at a computer workstation, and wherein said sensor is an electrical sensor connected with an interface to the computer workstation and so that in the absence of tho correct back postυro the electrical sensor will interface with the computer workstation to alert the person to the incorrect posture by causing any one or more of the following alerts to occur; i) A visual display to be provided on a display screen of the computer workstation. ii) An audible sound or message to be initiated from the computer workstation. iii) An interference with a normal operation of the computer work station.
6. A method as claimed in any one of the preceding claims wherein the sensor to a pressure responsive electrical switch, and causing the pressure switch to operate in one state when the person has a correct back position and to operate in another state when the person has an incorrect back posture whereby to provide said signal .
7. A method as claimed in claim 5 or claim 6, wherein the interface is a wireless interface.
8. A method as claimed in claim 7, wherein the wireless interface is a Bluetooth interface.
9. A method as claimed in any one of claims 5 to 8, when dependent on claim 5 wherein, an application program is provided with said computer device to interact with said interface to provide computerised Interaction with said sensor and a corresponding alert to be provided.
10. An aid for alerting a person to an incorrect back posture when seated on a seat, said aid comprising: a sensor responsive to pressure or contact or presence of a correct back posture of a person seated on the seat, said sensor being, in use, mountable at a correct back posture position relative to the seat, said, sensor being, in use, able to activate an alerting means, consequent on the sensor sensing the absence of a person assuming a correct back posture, and wherein said aid is provided with mounting means to permit said sensor to be mounted relative to said seat to sense correct back posture.
11. An aid as claimed in claim 10, wherein said aid has an interface connected with said sensor and wherein said interface, in use, provides an operational interface between said sensor and said alerting means.
12. An aid as claimed in claim 10 or claim 11 wherein, said aid is provided in or on a support that can be retrofitted to a back rest of said seat.
13. An aid as claimed in claim 11 wherein, said aid is for use at, a computer workstation, and wherein said interface permits said computer workstation to act as said alerting means by any one or more of the alerts being provided as: i) A visual display on a display screen of the computer workstation. ii) An audible sound or message to be initiated from the computer workstation. iii) An interference to the normal operation of the computer workstation.
14. The aid as claimed in any one of claims 10 to 13 wherein, the sensor is a pressure responsive electrical switch which can assume one state when the person has a correct back posture and to operate in another state when the person has an incorrect back posture to activate said alerting means.
15. An Aid as claimed in claim 11, or claim 13, wherein said interface is a wireless interface.
16. An aid as claimed in claim 15 wherein, said interface is a Bluetooth interface.
17. An aid as claimed in claim 13, comprising an application program for loading on said computer workstation to response to said sensor and to provide said alert initiated from said computer workstation when the person has an incorrect back posture.
PCT/AU2008/000414 2007-03-20 2008-03-21 A method and an aid to alert a person to the need to assume a correct back posture position during sitting on a seat WO2008119106A1 (en)

Priority Applications (2)

Application Number Priority Date Filing Date Title
AU2007901471A AU2007901471A0 (en) 2007-03-20 A Method and an Aid to Alert a Person to the need to assume a correct Back Posture Position during sitting on a seat
AU2007901471 2007-03-20

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WO2008119106A1 true WO2008119106A1 (en) 2008-10-09

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PCT/AU2008/000414 WO2008119106A1 (en) 2007-03-20 2008-03-21 A method and an aid to alert a person to the need to assume a correct back posture position during sitting on a seat

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Cited By (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20120092172A1 (en) * 2010-10-15 2012-04-19 Wong Glenn A User Fatigue
WO2014188187A1 (en) * 2013-05-21 2014-11-27 Richard Sutton Posture monitor
US9795322B1 (en) 2016-10-14 2017-10-24 Right Posture Pte. Ltd. Methods and systems for monitoring posture with alerts and analytics generated by a smart seat cover

Citations (9)

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US5570301A (en) * 1994-07-15 1996-10-29 Mitsubishi Electric Information Technology Center America, Inc. System for unencumbered measurement and reporting of body posture
WO1997042860A1 (en) * 1996-05-10 1997-11-20 Semap S.A.R.L. Apparatus for positioning a human body
WO2002017752A1 (en) * 2000-08-31 2002-03-07 Cho Myoung Ho Sitting means having sensing device
US20020171272A1 (en) * 2001-04-16 2002-11-21 Logical Electronic Engineering (1991) Ltd. System for improving body posture
WO2003100741A1 (en) * 2002-05-23 2003-12-04 Lye Hee Tan A Posture Detection Device
US6682351B1 (en) * 1998-10-12 2004-01-27 Siemens Aktiengesellschaft Method and system for monitoring the posture of a user at a training apparatus
US20040222892A1 (en) * 2003-05-06 2004-11-11 University Of Pittsburgh Of The Commonwealth System Of Higher Education Apparatus and method for postural assessment while performing cognitive tasks
US20040239161A1 (en) * 2003-02-26 2004-12-02 Lite-On Technology Corporation Health chair
WO2005074754A1 (en) * 2004-02-03 2005-08-18 Eleksen Limited Posture sensing

Patent Citations (9)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US5570301A (en) * 1994-07-15 1996-10-29 Mitsubishi Electric Information Technology Center America, Inc. System for unencumbered measurement and reporting of body posture
WO1997042860A1 (en) * 1996-05-10 1997-11-20 Semap S.A.R.L. Apparatus for positioning a human body
US6682351B1 (en) * 1998-10-12 2004-01-27 Siemens Aktiengesellschaft Method and system for monitoring the posture of a user at a training apparatus
WO2002017752A1 (en) * 2000-08-31 2002-03-07 Cho Myoung Ho Sitting means having sensing device
US20020171272A1 (en) * 2001-04-16 2002-11-21 Logical Electronic Engineering (1991) Ltd. System for improving body posture
WO2003100741A1 (en) * 2002-05-23 2003-12-04 Lye Hee Tan A Posture Detection Device
US20040239161A1 (en) * 2003-02-26 2004-12-02 Lite-On Technology Corporation Health chair
US20040222892A1 (en) * 2003-05-06 2004-11-11 University Of Pittsburgh Of The Commonwealth System Of Higher Education Apparatus and method for postural assessment while performing cognitive tasks
WO2005074754A1 (en) * 2004-02-03 2005-08-18 Eleksen Limited Posture sensing

Cited By (4)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US20120092172A1 (en) * 2010-10-15 2012-04-19 Wong Glenn A User Fatigue
US8810413B2 (en) 2010-10-15 2014-08-19 Hewlett Packard Development Company, L.P. User fatigue
WO2014188187A1 (en) * 2013-05-21 2014-11-27 Richard Sutton Posture monitor
US9795322B1 (en) 2016-10-14 2017-10-24 Right Posture Pte. Ltd. Methods and systems for monitoring posture with alerts and analytics generated by a smart seat cover

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