Tuesday, September 04, 2018 by Edsel Cook
The solution to agonizing back pain might be as simple as a light-emitting diode (LED) on a chair. In an article on The Daily Mail, German researchers unveiled a smart stool that warns its user about incorrect seating posture.
A pair of sensors allows the stool to keep track of the user’s posture. This sensor system can be installed in office chairs or car seats as well as the stool. Whenever it detects slouching, the LED stool will light up. The device will then suggest better ways to sit down.
Furthermore, the LED stool will be able to transmit a message to your mobile device. The message consists of videos featuring back exercises that you can practice in order to improve your posture.
If it works as advertised, the stool could help millions of people with back pain. (Related: Treat your chronic pain naturally with acupuncture.)
Back pain usually goes away within a few weeks or perhaps a couple of months. However, the deceptively simple problem is the biggest cause of the disability.
Eighty percent of the world’s population will undergo back pain at least once in their life. Most incidents are due to patients bending at awkward angles or picking up heavy objects.
Of those victims, half will experience back pain once more within a year. Some of them can suffer constant pain for years or get hit with multiple short attacks in the same year.
Most cases were treated with painkillers such as paracetamol and opioids. But numerous studies conducted over the years have shown that painkillers are not an effective long-term treatment for back pain.
Paracetamol is no longer considered to be effective on back pain. And the ongoing opioid crisis in the U.S. shows that these drugs are not safe.
Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering researchers developed the LED stool to combat back pain. The Munich-based company interviewed numerous businesses, experts, and victims before designing the stool.
They claimed that the best way to reduce back pain is to make active and conscious movements. This is similar to the advice of physiotherapists.
“We discovered there was a strong demand for equipment to promote people’s back health while sitting,” said Fraunhofer representative Truong Le.
The removable sensors and light units of the LED stool are made of soft and pliable material. They can be attached to numerous places inside a car: The mats, the seats, the steering wheels, and even the ceiling.
The sensor uses the weight distribution of its user to tell if a person is not seated correctly. It can also detect if the person has been stuck in the same position for a long while.
If it detects bad posture, the device will release an electrical pulse. Normally, the pulse will go to the LEDs, which will activate as a visible warning sign that the user should either alter the sitting position or try to move around and exercise.
The device can also send its pulse to a mobile device. Users will get to watch an education video on their smartphone or tablet that shows movements and exercises that can reduce back pain.
In addition to the LED stool, the Fraunhofer researchers also create an app that controls the sensors. The app can be installed on computers, smartphones, and tablets.
The prototype also features a game akin to ping-pong. The user can play it by moving their hips. This prototype made its debut at Germany’s Workplaces of the Future exhibit.
Can’t afford the LED stool and don’t trust painkillers? Visit HempScience.news to learn about alternative remedies for back pain.