Happy Textiles Meetup: Does it make sense to measure your exercise and wellbeing with smart devices and apps?
Are the several measuring possibilities helping you to feel good, or are they causing even more stress? And how can measuring be integrated to textile technologies? These questions were the topic in our latest Happy Textiles meetup at the We+ co-working space in Helsinki. We had lively discussions together with our presenters and attendees from the Metropolia University of Applied Sciences. Our presenters were Maija Kinnunen from Bailamama and Henna Salonius from Moodmetric.
Company Case: Bailamama ® Squeezes women into shape
Our first presenter at the meetup was physiotherapist Maija Kiljunen, the energetic founder and CEO of Bailamama Finland Oy. Her life mission is to encourage and teach women to take care of their pelvic floor, because they are the most important muscles in the human body creating a basis for the whole body posture.
“We have developed a health exercise concept offering classes in several locations in Finland, and in addition we have created home training programmes for different needs: for pregnant women, new mothers and for women of all ages,” Maija says.
Maija discussed about the challenges in educating women about pelvic muscle health based on many years of experience:
“It is not easy to talk about training the pelvic floor muscles, as it is a very intimate and personal area. Because the muscles are hidden in the pelvis and not visible to others, many women don’t find the motivation for training. In addition, the pelvic floor training is often considered boring compared with other brawn workout. For some women it is difficult to even recognize the muscles and they especially need help and instructions in training”.
To raise the awareness and interest to pelvic floor muscle training Bailamama arranged an event, where they tried to set a Guinness world record. The idea was that hundreds of women would have squeezed the pelvic floor muscles simultaneously. They tried to find different ways to carry out the record, but unfortunately, it was not possible to measure and prove the action at that time.
Would it be possible to measure the simultaneous pelvic muscle squeezing with the help of smart underwear?
If sensors would be integrated into underwear, it could mean an immense improvement for exercising and measuring of the pelvic floor muscles. There are already plenty of smart applications integrated to different types of sportswear, so it is realistic to expect that we will see smart underwear coming to market in the future.
Company case: Moodmetric smart ring for recognition of stress
Smart accessories are another aspect to measuring wellbeing. Our second presenter was Henna Salonius, the partner and customer experience officer of Moodmetric.
Henna, similarly to Maija, is very enthusiastic and talks passionately about her job:
“I got interested in stress control, because it is such a big global problem causing human suffering and loss of resources. Basically, stress is a good thing as it can give you energy and drive, but it is hard to recognize and control. To solve this problem we have developed the Moodmetric smart ring, which is a powerful tool for preventive stress management”.
The smart ring is based on the invention made by the Finnish Ph.D. Henry Rimminen, who has a long term background in sensor technology and physiological measurements.
The ring detects stress levels by measuring electrodermal activity. High activation means positive or negative stress and low activation means calmness or relaxation. From the Moodmetric app you can follow your stress level in real-time. You can download the data from the ring to your smart device and get a diagram showing the variation of the stress levels on a 12 hour clock face.
“Our product development is studying new solutions for measuring. As there are many eccrine sweat glands in the sole, the electrodermal activity could be effectively measured by sensors integrated in a sock. We are now looking for textile partners to explore this new possibility together with our R&D” Henna tells.
Read more about Moodmetric.
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