LightSit: an unobtrusive health-promoting system for relaxation and fitness microbreaks at work

Xipei Ren (Corresponding author), Bin Yu, Yuan Lu, Biyong Zhang, Jun Hu, Aarnout Brombacher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
98 Downloads (Pure)


Physical inactivity and chronic stress at work increase the risks of developing metabolic disorders, mental illnesses, and musculoskeletal injuries, threatening office workers’ physical and psychological well-being. Although several guidelines and interventions have been developed to prevent theses subhealth issues, their effectiveness and health benefits are largely limited when they cannot match workday contexts. This paper presents LightSit, a health-promoting system that helps people reduce physically inactive behaviors and manage chronic stress at work. LightSit comprises a sensor mat that can be embedded into an office chair for measuring a user’s sitting posture and heart rate variability and a lighting display that is integrated into a monitor stand to present information unobtrusively, facilitating fitness and relaxation exercises during microbreaks. Following the showroom approach, we evaluated LightSit during a public exhibition at Dutch Design Week 2018. During the eight days of the exhibition, we observed more than 500 sessions of experiences with healthy microbreaks using our prototype. Semistructured interviews were conducted with 50 participants who had office-based jobs and had experienced LightSit. Our qualitative findings indicated the potential benefits of LightSit in facilitating health-promoting behaviors during office work. Based on the insights learned from this study, we discuss the implications for future designs of interactive health-promoting systems.
Original languageEnglish
Article number2162
Number of pages18
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019


  • office vitality
  • microbreaks
  • ambient technology
  • workplace health promotion
  • Health Promotion/methods
  • Humans
  • Occupational Health/statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Male
  • Workplace/statistics & numerical data


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