Title:
Health chair
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A health chair includes a chair body, a pressure detection device located within the chair body and composed of a plurality of piezoelectric sensors for generating conduction signals at a conducting stage, wherein the conducting stage is triggered at a predetermined pressure, an alarm device, and a logic processing unit electrically connected to the pressure detection device and the alarm device for analyzing the conduction signals from the pressure detection device, so as to determine whether to trigger the alarm device and, thereby, to notify the user on the chair body.



Inventors:
Lee, Shih-yang (US)
Application Number:
10/885134
Publication Date:
12/02/2004
Filing Date:
07/07/2004
Assignee:
Lite-On Technology Corporation
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47C7/62; (IPC1-7): A47C7/62
View Patent Images:



Primary Examiner:
BARFIELD, ANTHONY DERRELL
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BIRCH, STEWART, KOLASCH & BIRCH, LLP (FALLS CHURCH, VA, US)
Claims:

I claim:



1. A health chair comprising: a chair body; a pressure detection device located within said chair body and composed of a plurality of piezoelectric sensors, the pressure detection device generating a weight distribution signal for user and generating conduction signals at a conducting stage, wherein said conducting stage is triggered at a predetermined pressure; an alarm device; and a logic processing unit electrically connected to said pressure detection device and said alarm device for identifying weight distribution signal and counting said conduction signals from said pressure detection device, when a user is identified to sit on the health chair and a counting number of the conduction signals exceeds a predetermined value, the logic processing unit triggers said alarm device and thereby notifying the user on said chair body.

2. The health chair as claimed in claim 1, wherein said logic processing unit is a logic processor having functions of operating, power providing, and timing.

3. The health chair as claimed in claim 1, wherein said alarm device is a buzzer.

4. The health chair as claimed in claim 1, wherein said alarm device is a vibrator.

Description:

CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATION

[0001] This application is a continuation-in-part of U.S. application Ser. No. 10/372,824, filed on 26 February, 2003 and entitle “health chair”.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0002] The present invention relates to a health chair and, more particularly, to a chair, which is used in offices and has the functions of detection, operation and alarm to prevent a user sitting thereon from physical harms due to sitting for a long time.

DESCRIPTION OF THE PRIOR ART

[0003] A person who sits in front of an office desk unavoidably maintains an almost still posture for such a long period of time, resulting in symptoms such as sore shoulder, cyrtosis and so on. According to medical research, periodically changing the sitting postures can keep some of these kinds of symptoms or injuries away. However, currently existent office chairs have no related specific designs to help people avoid aforementioned symptoms or injuries.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0004] The present invention is directed towards a health chair, which can prevent people from physical harms due to remaining seated too long. The present invention is characterized by the measurement of how long a person has been on the chair, with maintaining the same posture. If the time is too long and exceeds the time advised by doctors, a sound or vibration is generated, serving as a warning message, to inform the user on the chair of that it is right time to change his/her postures, while the measurement of calculating the time that the user has been on the chair continues. Once the user on the chair has changed postures, the accumulated time is going to be reset. Therefore, the present invention can prevent a chair user from physical harms due to sitting too long on the chair. To achieve the above object, in the present invention, a sheet-type conducting rubber film is placed in the cushion of a chair, and a logic processing unit is connected to an alarm device and electric contacts on the conducting rubber film, so as to obtain the information regarding how long that the user has been on the chair and maintained the same posture unmoved. If the positions of a considerable number of the electric contacts of the conducting rubber film within a certain period change, representing the user has changed his/her postures, and then reset the accumulated time which is for calculating how long the same posture of the user has maintained. If the accumulated time exceeds a predetermined value, meaning the user has maintained the same posture too long, and an alarm (sound or vibration) is generated to notify the user that it is the high time to change his/her postures.

[0005] The above logic processing unit is a logic processor having functions of operating, power supply, and timing.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0006] The various objects and advantages of the present invention will be more readily understood from the following detailed description when read in conjunction with the appended drawing, in which:

[0007] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the present invention;

[0008] FIG. 2 is a partly enlarged view of FIG. 1;

[0009] FIG. 3 is a circuit block diagram of the present invention;

[0010] FIG. 4 is a flowchart of the algorithm of the present invention; and

[0011] FIG. 5 is a schematic diagram illustrating the conducting rubber film having a plurality of switching devices arranged thereon.

[0012] FIG. 6 shows the block diagram of another preferred embodiment of the present invention.

[0013] FIG. 7 shows a schematic view of the arrangement of the switching matrix.

[0014] FIG. 8 shows the addressing clock timing for the health chair.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

[0015] As shown in FIGS. 1 to 3, the present invention provides a health chair that is particularly for office use includes a chair body, a pressure detection device 2, a logic processing unit 3, and an alarm device 4. The chair body 1 is designed in accordance with ergonomics.

[0016] The pressure detection device 2 is a sheet-type conducting rubber film in this embodiment, and is placed in a cushion of the chair body 1. A plurality of switching devices are arranged on the conducting rubber film to form a switch array, as shown in FIG. 5. When an electric contact of any of the switching devices is subject to a predetermined pressure, conduction signals are sent to the logic processing unit 3.

[0017] The above conducting rubber film is formed by arranging a plurality of electric contacts 22 on a film plate 21. A rubber switch 23 is provided at a position corresponding to that of each of the electric contacts 22. A conducting portion 24 is provided at the bottom surface of each of the rubber switches 23. When the conducting portion 24 contacts the electric contact 22, a conducting stage is triggered. The alarm device 4 is a buzzer or a vibrator.

[0018] The logic processing unit 3 is connected to the electric contacts 22 of the pressure detection device 2 and the alarm device 4, and has functions of operating, power supply, and timing. The logic processing unit 3 analyzes conduction signals from the pressure detection device 2 to determine whether to trigger the alarm device 4.

[0019] When a user sits on the cushion of the chair body 1 to allow some of the rubber switches 23 to contact some of the electric contacts of the pressure detection device 2, therefore to reach to a conducting stage and having the conduction signals sent out, the logic processing unit 2 analyzes the conduction signals of the pressure detection device 2. If the user has changed postures so as to change the positions of a considerable number of the electric contacts 22 of the pressure detection device 2 within a certain period, the accumulated time for recording how long the user has been on the chair and how long he/she has maintained the same posture is going to be reset. If the accumulated time exceeds a predetermined value, meaning the user has maintained the same posture too long, and then the alarm device is triggered to generate a sound or vibration to notify the user it is high time to change his/her postures.

[0020] As shown in FIG. 4, the flowchart of the present invention comprises the following steps:

[0021] Step 41: All the devices/units are initiated.

[0022] Step 42: The timer is reset.

[0023] Step 43: All signals of the pressure detection device are read and sent to the logic processing unit for analysis.

[0024] Step 44: If the user is sitting on the chair, the flow proceeds to Step 45; otherwise, returns to Step 42.

[0025] Step 45: Whether it is necessary to reset the timer, which is to calculate the accumulated time the user maintains the same posture, and if the user sitting on the chair has changed positions of a considerable of electric contacts of the pressure detection device, the timer will be reset (go to Step 42); otherwise go to Step 47,

[0026] Step 46: Whether the user has maintained the same posture too long is determined, if yes, go to Step 47; otherwise, returns to Step 43.

[0027] Step 47: An alarm (sound or vibration) is generated to notify the user that it is high time to change his/her postures, and back then, the process returns to Step 43.

[0028] FIG. 6 shows the block diagram of another preferred embodiment of the present invention. The health chair comprises a switching matrix 52 with piezoelectric sensors, a processor 53 and a buzzer 54. FIG. 7 shows a schematic view of the arrangement of the switching matrix 52, which is exemplified with 4×4 piezoelectric sensors 520. When one piezoelectric sensor is activated through 4 column addressing lines P0-P3 and 4 row addressing lines P4-P7, the force applied on the piezoelectric sensor 520 is detected and output through one of output lines G1-G4. FIG. 8 shows the addressing clock timing for the health chair, wherein the 4×4 piezoelectric sensors 520 are activated in sequential way.

[0029] Different to previous example, the health chair in this embodiment can identify whether a human being sits on the chair because the piezoelectric sensor 520 can detect the magnitude of applied force. A threshold value database or a look-up table can be stored in the processor 53. The processor 53 will compare the value stored in the threshold value database (or the look-up table) and the measured values from the piezoelectric sensors 520. After the processor 53 identifies that a human being sits thereon, the processor 53 performs steps as those shown in the flowchart of FIG. 4.

[0030] In prior art health chair with conductive switches, the health chair cannot identify the weight exerted thereon comes from human being or non human being article such as a book. The health chair in the present invention is equipped with piezoelectric sensors to prevent wrong judgment.

[0031] To sum up, through the components and circuits arranged in the chair body and the operation rules, the present invention is to generate a warning to the user as he/she has maintained the same posture too long, thus to protect the user from physical harms due to sitting for work for a long time.

[0032] Although the present invention has been described with reference to the preferred embodiment thereof, it will be understood that the invention is not limited to the details thereof. Various substitutions and modifications have been suggested in the foregoing description, and other will occur to those of ordinary skill in the art. Therefore, all such substitutions and modifications are intended to be embraced within the scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims.