A group photo of TravelHack 2019, with organisers, volunteers and the hackers.

Stretch - My Dissertation Project

My dissertation project aimed to answer the research question: can technology be used to prevent poor posture while working from non-traditional workspaces?

You can read the full dissertation here. But, this is the abstract:

"The number of people working remotely has been steadily rising, with the recent coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) accelerating this growth. As many are forced to work from home for the first time, they are doing so from non-traditional workspaces such as sofas, beds and kitchen stools. These workspaces present several ergonomic challenges and can lead to discomfort as a result of poor sitting posture. Stretching and frequent movement breaks from sitting are vital to maintaining a good and pain-free posture that can prevent discomfort. This project looks at the role technology has in preventing this postural discomfort and aims to produce an application to provide users with daily stretching routines to encourage the breaking of sitting periods with movement and stretches designed to prevent discomfort.

To accomplish this, a review of the current state of the art is conducted, and interviews with interested health professionals are completed, which provide the basis for the requirements specification for a suitable app. A detailed summary of the produced iOS application is included, which is based on these ideas, followed by an empirical evaluation to determine its usability and effectiveness at reducing discomfort. The results of this evaluation suggest that the developed app has the potential to reduce the discomfort levels of users. The evaluation also identified the demand for such an app, with participants stating they would like to continue to use it. This project concludes by outlining potential future improvements to the app, and suggestions on an improved study provide a conclusive insight into its effectiveness."

The iOS App

As part of my dissertation project, I created Stretch - a native iOS app written in Swift and SwiftUI. The aim of the app is to provide users with a daily routine of stretches designed to improve posture and reduce discomfort. Empirical user studies showed the intial signs that the app was effective, and the design was well-reviewed. One user even stated that they "would be happy to pay for it"!

The full source code for the app is viewable on GitHub.