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These smart clothes will make you sit up straight

Sitting in unnatural and awkward positions can lead to serious health issues, with various studies showing bad posture can result in increased risk of heart disease and strokes, as well as a number of musculoskeletal diseases.

“People often sit in various poor postures in their daily life, leading to pain and discomfort.”

Kai Dong

To tackle this researchers have pioneered a new self-powered fabric that combines with sensor technology to nudge people into a better posture in real time.

What Kai Dong, an associate researcher at the Beijing Institute of Nanoenergy and Nanosystems at the Chinese Academy of Sciences, labels a ‘sitting disease’ could, he says, “be alleviated if individuals were able to observe their real-time sitting posture by wearing a specific type of clothing made with smart textiles”.

“With the self-powered sitting position monitoring vest we developed, users can watch their posture change on their screen and make necessary adjustments,” he said.

The smart fabric works by using triboelectric nanogenerators (TENGs) that generate energy from movement to trigger the posture monitoring sensors. 

“We believe the TENG-based self-powered monitoring vest offers a reliable healthcare solution for long-term, non-invasive monitoring,” adds Dong.

The technology was described in a paper published on May 24 in Nano Research.

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Written By

Susan is the co-founder of Innovators Magazine and a consultant for OnePoint5 Media. Susan is also a member of the UNFCCC-led Resilience Frontiers Nexus group and co-chair of the APOPO Foundation UK board.


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