Thursday, November 30, 2006

Biofeedback Software Program That Enhances Posture And Ergonomic Self-awareness

Using biofeedback to reduce back pain due to poor office ergonomics ...

"Recovery from back pain associated with poor office ergonomics can be challenging for a variety reasons. First, information abounds on the internet and it is difficult for pain sufferers to wade through the range of posture and ergonomic guidelines that come up on a Google search. Second, applying the information to an individual office and desk environment so as to reduce stress and strain can appear to be complex and costly. Third, and perhaps most important, pain suffers need to get regular feedback so that they can begin modifying their ingrained and damaging sitting patterns.

SlouchGuard, released this week by the Silicon Valley firm Siasys, is a biofeedback software program that provides this necessary feedback.

Jean Couch, director of The Balance Center in Palo Alto, CA, described the software program in the following way: "SlouchGuard is a truly valuable tool that we use at our Center. Our clients have been asking us for years if there was some way they could get instant and automatic feedback about how they are sitting when their instructors and therapists are not with them. SlouchGuard provides that service."

The core of the program is a biofeedback positional recognition engine. The engine learns the specific and personalized ergonomic position/postures that the user wants to practice and ingrain into her muscle memory. The user can then focus on her work while the engine provides feedback to her about her sitting style. If the user moves too far away from her new position (and perhaps towards her less-comfortable yet more familiar positions), SlouchGuard provides audio or visual cues that remind her to think about her posture and/or ergonomics."    (Continued via Medical News Today)    [Ergonomics Resources]

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