In the European Community more than 40% of the today's working population use computers in their daily work and this number is expected to increase significantly in the next decade. The use of computers is related with static work, constrained sitting and visual problems, resulting in a number of workplace-related illnesses, such as Computer Vision Syndrome, Repetitive Strain Injury, headaches, neck and back problems, etc.
To address this issue actions have already been taken in the areas of workplace conditions, ergonomics and education of the employees about the appropriate safety measures. In addition, several recent research projects targeted the musculoskeletal, cardiovascular and psychosocial aspects of work-related disorders, resulting in recommendations for safer workplace environment and more ergonomic computer equipment.
It was shown that with regular breaks from work, exercising of affected muscles and various relaxational activities, most of disorders concerned with operation of computer devices and constrained posture can be prevented. Unfortunately, workers find it hard to follow the proposed guidelines when they are focused on work.
This project proposes development of an intelligent monitoring tool that uses advanced computer-vision techniques to detect possible health risks in worker's pose or movement patterns, and provides immediate instructions for relaxation, as well as a selection of vision-based applications for exercising eye, hand, and neck muscles.
This will ensure that worker's activity will be varied in intensity, speed and movement, with interruptions for recuperation and rest, all without the need for special attention by the worker. In the long run, regular usage of such tool is expected to lower rates of illness and health-related absence from work.
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