POWEr FITTing – Let’s go for a WorkWalk!

Designing healthier ways of working!

We all recognize the employees that sit more than 7 hours in the office behind a computer, stressed out to meet the company targets and deadlines, keeping different balls in the air. To continue to perform in an increasingly competitive global economy, we all need to work longer, smarter and more. Yet, physical inactivity rates are growing and the number of people with burnout is increasing. Investing in the sustainable employability of employees, based on good physical and mental health, is crucial in this respect, not least to prevent absenteeism for personal and economic reasons, and to reduce health care costs.

General project problem description

POWEr FITTing wants to optimize the fit between a person’s vitality and his office environment considering individual, social and contextual factors. We will use data-enabled approaches to support office workers to optimize the balance between well-being, health, and productivity. Based on challenging data acquisition, integration and application of meaningful data we will validate new user-centric office solutions. This provides health related benefits for office workers as well as an environment that makes sure they enjoy making the most of their day in the office.

Description of assignment: Let’s go for a WorkWalk!
How to support and democratize the practice of Walking Meetings

(study background: Industrial Design / Built Environment / Mechanical or Electrical Engineering / Psychology and Technology)

Walking meetings are a promising way to integrate physical activity in work (rather than taking a break from work). It also stimulates new collaboration dynamics. Yet despite all benefits of walking meetings, this practice is not yet widespread. Many drivers and barriers have been identified in previous work, and it is now time to imagine solutions to support and democratize this healthy and creative working practice!

We designed the WorkWalk, a walking meeting route on TU/e campus which can be booked like any traditional meeting room. We also designed the Hubs, a network of interactive devices facilitating note taking and presenting which were mentioned as the main barriers in conducting walking meetings. As sedentary behavior in office workers is recognized as a major health challenge, there is a huge interest to implement Workwalk designs at other places in the NL (e.g. Tilburg university and High Tech Campus). Current solutions need to be researched further, fine-tuned and enhanced. Other innovative solutions addressing this issue are also welcome.

WorkWalk by Ida Damen

Missions 2a and 2b/ Interactive Workwalk routes

The current Workwalk routes on the TU/e campus are non-interactive dotted lines which people can follow. Your challenge is to make the WorkWalk routes interactive, and somewhat adaptive to people’s needs. Your mission (Industrial Design, Mechanical or Electrical Engineering) will be to explore different modalities and designs for the WorkWalk routes.

The 3 design principles which should be included in a final concept are:

  • Interactive: the routes should be interactive and should use technology in a meaningful way to guide people
  • Sensing: the part of the routes should have a sensing component (to be defined depending on what you will see relevant)
  • Responsive: based on the data of these sensors, the design of the route will somewhat adapt to the context or the users.
    Sensing and responsiveness do not necessarily have to be at an extremely complex level, but something should be implemented.

Depending on your study background (Built Environment, Psychology and Technology), you can also think along on which methods and process should be used to develop a WorkWalk in a new place such as High-Tech Campus. How to understand the physical aspects of the place, its target users? How to study the walkability of a place? Does the place need a single routes or a variety of routes corresponding to different usage modes? How to match the design with the business identity that the place and stakeholders intend to convey?

Computer Science and Psychology and Technology students might also focus on the features offered by the Hubs, their connectivity and their UI design.

Types of student project possible

Fontys: Internship, Graduation projects
TU/e: Bachelor project, Master internship, Master thesis

Types of study
  • Industrial Design
  • Built Environment
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Psychology and Technology
Starting date/duration of student projects

Flexible depending on the requirements of students’ institutions.

Contact

Marieke van Beurden, m.v.beurden@tue.nl

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