Small device could warn you if you’ve been too still at your desk

A little sensor worn on the neck containing origami-like folded wires can monitor just how much we move while sedentary, and prompt persons to get up and exercise.

A lot more than 100 million people in Europe experienced musculoskeletal disorders such as neck and shoulder pain in 2020 – a legacy of the changing way we work. But moving regularly while sitting can prevent problems.

Zhengbao Yang at City University of Hong Kong and his colleagues are suffering from small, stretchable sensors that are powered by piezoelectricity – charge that’s produced through squeezing or stressing suitable materials.


The sensor monitors the movement of the neck and is powered by two layers of piezoelectric material folded in a structure from kirigami, which is related to the art of origami or paper folding.

When the wearer moves, the sensor deforms and sends charge to a microcontroller that may register the movement with an accuracy of 95 %, displaying this on a computer. “We can utilize this material to convert stress to voltage, then we are able to gauge the joint motion using that,” says Yang.

If the wearer doesn’t move their neck or shoulders a lot more than 10 times atlanta divorce attorneys half hour, a prompt is displayed using the pc.

“The sensor offers a fresh and novel design within a little package which is suitable for placement on your body,” says Jonathan Aitken at the University of Sheffield, UK. “The sensor evidently succeeds in the overall aim to indicate inactivity, though it will be interesting to delve further into its characteristics, reliability and sensitivity.”

Aitken says this may help generate more fine-grained monitoring of motion that could make the sensor better.

For Yang, the sensor could move from the lab to true to life since it is. “We curently have a patent upon this technology,” he says. “We’re thinking about how precisely to license this patent to local industry, to bring advantages to society.”

Journal reference: Science Advances , DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abf0795

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