Title:
Portable Posture Correction Device
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A device for correcting sitting posture consisting of a back pad (10) a cord (16) and a control box (22) that is easily used on chairs with a variety of seat back heights and gives audiovisual and tactile indication on posture position.



Inventors:
Tate, Bryan Anthony (Union City, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/676283
Publication Date:
08/21/2008
Filing Date:
02/17/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A47C31/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
DOUGHERTY, SEAN PATRICK
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BRYAN TATE (Scotts Valley, CA, US)
Claims:
I claim:

1. A posture correction device comprising: (a) A back pad containing a plurality of sensors (b) A control box containing a means to select between a plurality of seat back heights, a means for containing or connecting to a power source, and a means for indicating improper posture (c) A cord connecting said back pad to said control box.

2. The posture correction device of claim 1 wherein said back pad contains a weight 18 to keep the back pad 10 from slipping down in the chair 14.

3. The posture correction device of claim 1 wherein back pad 10 has attached one or more straps 20 securing said back pad to a chair 14.

4. The posture correction device of claim 1 wherein said control box contains a computer port 34 for connecting to a computer.

5. The posture correction device of claim 1 wherein a back pad 10 contains a vibrator 32.

6. The posture correction device of claim 1 wherein said back pad has a rubber grip 36 to keep said back pad from slipping off a chair 14.

7. The posture correction device of claim 1 wherein said control box contains a battery 42.

8. The posture correction device of claim 1 wherein said control box contains an AC power receptacle 38 that connects to a power cord 24 for plugging into standard household power outlets.

9. The posture correction device of claim 1 wherein said control box contains an AC power receptacle 38 that connects to a standard cigarette lighter adapter for use in automobiles.

10. The posture correction device of claim 1 wherein said control box contains a circuit board with a means to connect wirelessly to a computer.

11. The posture correction device of claim 1 wherein said control box is physically attached to the back of said back pad eliminating said cord.

12. The posture correction device of claim 1 wherein said control box contains a light 28 for visual indication of posture position.

13. The posture correction device of claim 1 wherein said control box contains a speaker 30 for auditory indication of posture position.

14. The posture correction device of claim 1 wherein said control box contains a circuit board 40 which provides a means for allowing the selection between different sensors 12 in conjunction with a selector switch facilitating use on a plurality of chair back heights.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

Not applicable

BACKGROUND

1. Field of Invention

This invention relates to devices designed to help promote proper posture when sitting.

2. Description of Prior Art

With a majority of people spending time in a sitting position on a daily basis, whether in front of a computer or sitting in a car, it is increasingly important to promote good posture. This is especially true in work environments where productivity and health are a concern for employers.

Typically the method of monitoring posture has been implemented in one of two ways. On uses a device attached to a users back that monitors the curvature of the spine. The other is incorporated into the structure of the seat or chair and monitors the back as it contacts the backrest.

Attached posture devices like that of U.S. Pat. No. 6,146,312 to Sclichter require the user put on the device and activate it upon every use. They can be bulky and awkward and may even interfere with the user comfortably sitting in a standard chair. Such devices also must be battery powered or constantly unplugged every time the user gets up.

Devices incorporated into an existing chair such as U.S. Pat. No. 6,669,286 to lusim are inherently expensive. A user must replace their existing seat or chair with one that has incorporated the posture correcting device. In an office or large business this would be extremely expensive and the most desirable models of seating may not be offered with the posture device installed. In addition, incorporating the device into an automobile seat would be extremely expensive due to the complexity and diversity of models and manufactures.

SUMMARY

A portable posture measuring and indicating device consisting of a backrest pad with sensors and a control box with selector and alarm.

Objects and Advantages

The objects and advantages of this invention directly address the problems outlined above and offer increased functionality not yet mentioned.

Several objects and advantages of the present invention are:

    • (a) to provide a method of detecting posture in a device that is portable and able to be used with virtually any chair or seat, including automobile seats;
    • (b) to provide a method of detecting posture in a device that uses a minimal amount of sensors and basic electronics which lowers cost;
    • (c) to provide a method of detecting posture in a device that can run on battery power or be plugged in to increase operation time;
    • (d) to provide a method of detecting posture in a device that uses visual, audible, and tactile indicators of posture for maximum effectiveness;
    • (e) to provide a method of detecting posture in a device that automatically shuts off when a user gets up, allowing freedom of movement without the hassle of unplugging or remembering to turn the device off;
    • (f) to provide a method of detecting posture in a device that will gradually train users to maintain proper posture when not in use;
    • (g) to provide a method of detecting posture in a device that can also be incorporated into computer interfaces allowing more advanced features.

DRAWING FIGURES

FIG. 1 shows the preferred embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2 shows the components contained in the control box.

FIG. 3 shows the invention on a chair with a low back.

FIG. 4 shows the invention on a chair with a non-continuous back as in office chairs.

FIG. 5 shows the schematic for the electronic controls.

Reference Numerals In Drawings
10back pad
12a to 12dsensor
14chair
16cord
18weight
20strap
22control box
24power cord
26selector switch
28light
30speaker
32vibrator
34computer port
36rubber grip
38AC power receptacle
40circuit board
42battery

DESCRIPTION—PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

FIG. 1 shows a preferred embodiment of the present invention. A back pad 10 houses sensors 12a to 12d and has attached straps 20. The back pad 10 is only slightly thicker than the sensors 12 and consists of an outer layer or sleeve of durable material that can be anything from leather to vinyl or whatever the user prefers. Inside the back pad 10 is a thin layer of padding, most likely foam rubber or similar. The back pad 10 can also incorporate a weight 18 to keep from sliding down and can also be backed with a rubberized grip 36. Sensors 12 are inside the back pad 10 and connected to a cord 16 running to a control box 22. Sensors 12 are preferably thin tactile switches. A cord 16 contains five wires where one wire connects in series to the positive terminal of each sensor 12. Each of the four remaining wires is connected to the negative terminal of an individual sensor 12.

FIG. 2 shows a control box 22 which is preferably plastic and houses a selector switch 26, a light 28, a speaker 30, an AC power receptacle 38, a circuit board 40, a computer port 34 (preferably USB), and a battery 42. In the preferred embodiment selector switch 26 is a 4 position rotary switch.

Operation—Preferred Embodiment

The operation of the inventions begins by placing it on a desired seat or chair 14 and if applicable enclosing said chair with straps 20. The device is placed so that as many sensors 12 as possible are on the back of the chair 14 facing the user. The selector switch 26 is then rotated from the off position to one of the three operating positions. Position 1 utilizes all four sensors 12 as in FIG. 1. Position 2 utilizes only the three lowest sensors 12a, 12b and 12c as shown in FIG. 3. Position 3 utilizes only the lowest two sensors 12a and 12b as in FIG. 4.

Position 1 operation: When using position 1, the user is required to maintain contact with all four sensors 12 to be in proper posture position. When the user is properly seated and contacting all four sensors 12, the invention is activated but the light 28 and speaker 30 are not active. When the user breaks contact with any of the four sensors 12 but still remains in contact with at least one sensor 12 the light 28 is activated and the circuit board 40 begins counting down approximately five seconds. If the user returns to proper posture position before the five seconds has elapsed, then the light 28 is deactivated and the countdown stops. If the user remains out of proper posture position for more than five seconds then the light 28 remains on and the speaker 30 is activated, producing a tone. This should prompt the user to return to a proper posture position. However, if the user gets up, completely breaking contact with all four sensors 12 then the unit turns off until any of the sensors 12 are contacted again.

Position 2 operation: Position 2 is used when a chair 14 has a lower back and the topmost sensor 12d will not be in contact with the back of the user. In this operation only sensors 12a, 12b and 12c are required to be contacted for proper posture and operation is the same as in position 1.

Position 3 operation: Position 3 is used on chairs 14 that have a back that does not continue from the seat of the chair to the top of the backrest as in many office or computer chairs as shown in FIG. 4. In this position only sensors 12a and 12b are required for proper posture. Operation is then the same as in positions 1 and 2 above.

The invention operates on battery 42 power or can be connected to an AC adapter through an AC power receptacle 38. The invention can also be connected to a computer via the computer port 34 to allow onscreen display of posture status.

CONCLUSION, RAMIFICATIONS, AND SCOPE

It is concluded that the posture correction apparatus of the invention is a convenient, portable and inexpensive device that can be used by anyone on almost any seat where proper posture is desired.

While my above description contains many specificities, these should not be construed as limitations on the scope of the invention, but rather as an exemplification of one preferred embodiment thereof. Many other variations are possible. For example, the control box could contain a wireless transmitter allowing the elimination of a power cord and allowing another method of integration with a computer interface. The control box could also be attached to the back of the back pad. The power cord can also be replaced with a standard 12 volt cigarette lighter plug for use in automobiles.

Accordingly, the scope of the invention should be determined not by the embodiment(s) illustrated, but by the appended claims and their legal equivalents.