About the research project

Long-term sitting is commonplace for office workers throughout the world. Nonetheless it is also a major health risk that may lead to organ damage, muscle degeneration, or back issues. SmartCushion -a sensor equipped seat cushion- shall detect physiological signals like activity levels, posture and breathing rate to break the cycle for customers interested in this self-assessment. It makes use of innovative sensor technologies and scalable web-based platforms to motivate a more active lifestyle by monitoring and analyzing sitting behavior and providing feedback to the users. SmartCushion targets one of the most underestimated risk factors in our daily life: long-term sitting.

Smart-Cushion is funded by German EIT Health, started from October 2016 and aims to have a fully functioning product by October 2017. The final product consists of a sensor equipped cushion and an Android application that visualizes sitting behavior and suggests exercises by analysing sitting patterns.


Who will benefit from SmartCushion?

SmartCushion promotes Healthy Living by giving office workers and other customers that spend a considerable amount of time on their chairs a new and useful way for intervening at a point in their lifestyles that is often overlooked. They need real time feedback on how to deal with sedentary lifestyle caused by their chosen profession. SmartCushion will provide an easy, but effective countermeasure that unobtrusively integrates into their work flow. Back pain patients can also use the system in a similar fashion and are provided with targeted and individualized training sessions that can be followed.

SmartCushion can also support the therapies of millions of back pain patients within physiotherapy. Together with the user the therapist can evaluate the gathered data of SmartCushion and suggest the next therapy steps on a highly individualized level. Therapists get information of the patients’ sitting behavior and can teach techniques, like sitting on the whole seat or how to have a uniform load on both sit bones based on real data. In Germany fitbase has an existing network of physiotherapists who already use fitbase solutions to support back therapies.

SmartCushion supports active ageing by providing a solution for the ageing work force. Companies can distribute our system to provide an easy way for targeted and unobtrusive intervention at the workplace.


The main reason for sick days in Germany is back pain. It will cause serious health problems in long term and also causing sick days for workers. Thus one goal of SmartCushion is to reduce health issues regarding sitting for a long time. On the other hand each sick day has a cost for company so employers have a vested interest in keeping their staff healthy which results in rising expenditures for preventative workplace health solutions.

We want to help office workers to have a healthier lifestyle, companies to provide a better work environment for the ageing work force, and society to overcome some health risks associated with sedentary lifestyles.


Fitbase is developing digital prevention solutions for the workplace and for private persons since 2011. Fitbase markets solutions via B2B, B2C and B2B2C. Its’ customers are corporations of any size, especially health insurances which use Fitbase solutions for their workplace health promotion activities.

Fraunhofer IGD is the international leading research institution for applied visual computing — image- and model-based information technology that combines computer graphics and computer vision.

Johannes Heering
Johannes HeeringFounder and CEO
Mehran Sheikholeslami
Mehran SheikholeslamiApplication Development
Dr. Andreas Braun
Dr. Andreas BraunHead of Smart Living & Biometric Technologies
Silvia Rus
Silvia RusScientific Associate
This work is supported by German EIT Health