Posture Sensor Reminds You To Sit Up Straight!

Hey you! Are you slouching? Probably. It might not seem like such a bad thing to do, but if you plan on sitting comfortably at that desk for the next 5-10 years or so, you’ve really gotta watch your posture. This is a problem [Max] has been trying to solve for a while now — and now he’s attempting to do it with a posture sensor.

His first take on this project utilized an ultrasound range finder, mounted to the back of a chair. Once calibrated, you would have to maintain a certain distance from the back of your head to the sensor, thus, keeping your back straight. It worked, but it wasn’t the greatest.

Next up, he tried utilizing a webcam and facial recognition software to determine if he was slouching forwards, backwards, or (however unlikely), maintaining good posture. It was better than the first prototype, but still needed some refinement. Now he’s onto his third iteration — this time, a wearable posture sensor!

It’s actually pretty simple. You attach the sensor to your chest, and an accelerometer determines the angle at which your chest is pointing — if you sway out of the safe zone by slouching, a small vibrating motor warns you of your digression and reminds you to straighten up.

According to [Max] the sensor works even better than he expected, and he is already working on making it even better. Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best. To follow his progress, or to download the files to make your own, be sure to check out his blog!

24 thoughts on “Posture Sensor Reminds You To Sit Up Straight!

      1. I’m 6’4″ and I recently realized why I always slouch and/or lean back in my chair. I used to get in trouble for it in school all the time. Turns out chairs aren’t built for tall people and sitting “normally” in most chairs causes excessive pressure on my buttocks. Leaning back in the chair or slouching) moves the pressure to the bottom of the thighs which is much more comfortable. Of course there’s always the argument for adjustable height office chairs, but having the top of my legs pressed against the bottom of my desk is another problem.

  1. I have Aspergers and slouching is just natural for me. I worked out for three years back in my 30’s. I did forward, side, back, and rotational crunches every day for three years. I LITERALLY spent 60 minutes four times a week on nothing but core strength. HUNDREDS of crunches in one session. My midriff got so strong that I no longer needed to use my legs to lift anything heavy. I could simply bend my body over, grab my girlfriend and pick her up.

    I still slouch. IDK… for me, it’s more about people’s perception of slouching than it is slouching itself.

    1. When I had my medical examination for the compulsory military service (which I refused btw), the doctor said something like “You do have those muscles. You just don’t use them.”

  2. I’ve been a software / hardware design engineer for over a decade now. This is probably the worst profession for back health (because it’s mainly young people doing it and they are invincible aren’t they?). I’m better at managing my posture now but it’s easy to spend 8 hours engrossed in a bit of programming or PCB layout and realise you haven’t stood up that entire time.

    Does anyone have any long-term experience of “upright workstation” workplaces? I’d be really interested in whether this might be beneficial for back pain sufferers like me.

    1. don’t have direct experience
      but several friends (of varying ages and levels of back pain) who swear by upright workstations

      almost as important though (it seems)
      is that you have the option to transition/change between sitting and standing
      or even reclining!
      one of the aforementioned friends
      uses an adjustable (supportive) reclining chair (not a lazyboy) and rolling work station with adjustable desk tilt angle

    2. I use one. Love it… I alternate (roughly each hour) standing and sitting so that I stand about half the work day. You need good shoes, or you’ll just have a sore back for two reasons.
      My back feels relatively great… still have some back pain, but much much less than when I was sitting at a screen all day.

  3. If your chair or stool back is higher than halfway up your back it is too high. I feel this should apply in cars too. Just like a motorcycle. Sit up with the whole back and spine doing their fulltime work. Turn off some muscles and just watch your body get bent out of shape.

    1. The reason your seat goes up to the back of your head in modern vehicles is to protect your spine in a rear end collision. Not to protect your crappy posture. If someone nailed you from behind and you were in an older car, it was very common to experience neck injuries and paralysis.

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