WorkingAgeCopyright: © Mario Irrmischer
Smart Working Environments for all Ages
- 01.02.2019 to 31.01.2022
- Research Area:
- Workplace and Product Design | Cognitive and Physiological Ergonomics | Sociotechnical Systems and Human-Machine Interfaces
The EU project "WorkingAge" looks at how to improve working conditions. The aim is to bring about a sustainable increase in the health and safety of employees. Through the use of innovative MMI technologies to record physical stress and strain, body posture, facial expression and speech, as well as eye tracking, we discern the cognitive, emotional, and physical state of the employees. This, in turn, enables a fast, continual evaluation of the working conditions for each individual. In light of demographic change, special focus is also placed on adapting the system to the needs of older employees.
In 2014, about 7.4 percent of the EU population suffered from one or more work-related health problems. The main causes of long-term health problems in the workforce are chronic diseases such as musculoskeletal disorders or mental and emotional problems. In addition, demographic factors are leading to a smaller, ageing workforce, so that it is increasingly important to help employees maintain their long-term health.
Work is an important determinant of health and our workplace cultures and values shape what individuals do to stay healthy. This is where the WorkingAge project comes in, creating opportunities to help employees learn healthy habits both at work and in their daily lives, so that they stay healthy in the long term.
The aim of the project is to develop a system that promotes healthy habits at work and in everyday life. The system uses innovative methods and sensors to detect the emotional, cognitive and physical state of the user and the environmental conditions they are in. With the help of short-cycle data evaluation, the system can generate feedback and recommendations in real time that is tailored to the particular target group. This supports users in learning habits both at work and in their daily lives that help them maintain their long-term health. The system improves working conditions and helps management to develop new tools that promote flexible and sustainable measures to ensure employees remain healthy and productive in the long term.
The system uses various sensors. By analyzing the data stream generated by these sensors, the system learns the user's behavior and personal preferences so that it can interact with the user in a natural way.
Based on three exemplary work environments (production environment, office workplace and home office), the system will be developed in a user-centered way. The first step in this process will be to define the requirements and wishes of the users. The individual components, as well as the fully integrated system, will then be tested in laboratory studies. They will then be validated in field studies in the three mentioned workplace environments over the course of several months, with regard to the previously determined user requirements.
ResultsCopyright: © ITCL Technology Centre
In joint work, the so-called WorkingAge Of Wellbeing tool, in short WAOW for short, was developed, which uses various sensors to measure the individual state of the working person and provides real-time feedback. After several test cycles under controlled conditions in laboratory studies, the tool was afterwards successfully tested in the context of office, production and telework with 37 users over a period of two months. The focus was on the one hand on the technical testing with regard to functionality and reliability in the real working environment, but also in particular on ethical, legal and social aspects as well as the acceptance of the WAOW tool. The results were very positive in terms of functionality and reliability, but also in terms of usability, acceptance and impact on health, well-being and effectiveness.
The WorkingAge project is funded by the European Union's Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under Grant Agreement Number 826232.