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Researchers Use Webcams To Rub Poor Posture In Slouching Office Workers' Faces

/u138055/posture.gif" width="228" height="186" style="float: right;" />Whether you're chatting it up with a far-away friend or, um, hanging out in a Google+ Hangout, we all know that webcams can supply tons of digital video fun. But did you know webcams can improve your health, too? Neither did we, at least not until we heard of a nifty project involving webcams, 60 office workers, and a research team from the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel. Sit up and pay attention!

The researchers first showed those 60 office workers an image of proper sitting posture, PC World reports. Some custom software used the webcam to snap periodic pictures of those workers in their chairs, then displayed the picture on screen side-by-side with the reference picture – you know, so the workers could see how they should be sitting. The researchers reported sustained posture improvement throughout the study, as opposed to the measured, yet brief improvement that occurs after a typical in-office posture training session.

Guys are the most hard-headed (or dedicated) slouchers; women and old folks proved most responsive to the project. The team hopes that offices can use webcam posture programs to help reduce the rate of musculoskeletal disorders over the long term – which should help lower insurance rates. Win-win!

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08-04-2011, 06:53 PM
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