“Internet of things” has become a
growing discussion topic of conversation not only in the office but also at
home since it is a revolutionary concept that will change the way we work but moreover
the way we live. So, what exactly is the “Internet of things” and why
is it impacting us or will it impact us? A lot of technical, social and political
policies concerning this topic are currently being made but many people are still
trying to understand what it is about. In this paper, I wish to torchlight the
viewpoint on how the internet of things at home or work (industrial internet of
things) has the potential of promoting a sedentary life style which has a
potential to lead to increase in health issues in our society.
is directed at providing an all-inclusive overview of the concept of internet
of things and how it will lead to decrease in physical workload, thereby
fostering a sedentary lifestyle, which contributes to the increase in the
prevalence of health issues in our society.
Furthermore, this paper discusses the
potentials and risks of fully exploiting the industrial internet of things into
work processes as it may lead to unbalanced physical load situation for office
and household members. For this purpose, this paper introduces the internet of
things, how it can contribute to sedentary life style and also the effects of
sedentary life style resulting from internet of things on health issues.
of Things, industrial internet of things, sedentary lifestyle, musculosketal
disorder, Physical workload.
The Internet of Things (IOT)
is the name given to describe the relatively modern technology that connects
everyday objects and devices to the web to provide additional data or
functionality. Internet of Things aims at making each device or computer or
equipment interconnected thereby resulting in globally automated world which will
interface between inanimate and animate things. But this global automation and
internet connectivity will lead to the phasing out of the human component of
machine operation thereby making humans less physically active and embrace a
much more sedentary lifestyle. Although the public is now noticing the internet
of things, most of our processes have already been automated with sensors and transducers,
for example out automated lightening in the workplace etc.
The following describes are
some applications of IOT in our everyday life.
Smart Traffic: A smart traffic monitoring system aided by connectivity from the
internet of things will provide a great mobility experience by facilitating
free flow of vehicles. It will also provide features like theft-detection,
reporting of traffic accidents, etc.
Applications: Internet of Things
and its innovations will be able to accurately predict natural disasters such
as hurricanes, tornadoes, flood etc.
Home Applications: Internet of Things will enable the enhancement of do it yourself (DIY)
home automation solutions with which we will have the capacity to remotely
control our home appliances/ devices according to our requirements and personal
preferences. Correct observation of utility meters, energy and water supply
which will help in energy conservation while efficiently detecting leaks and
power surges etc. Also, it will foster enhanced security and trespassing
detection system which will prevent burglaries.
Applications: Medical centers
will be installed with smart adaptable wearable devices which will be provided
to the sick patients and via which health practitioners can observe the
necessary vital signs (heart rate, blood pressure, temperature and other
conditions) of patients inside or outside the premises of the health centers
Automated Farming: Farmers will be able to observe factors like Soil nourishment, Light,
soil moistness etc. And improve the green housing farming practices by
automating watering, fertilization processes which will lead to optimal crop
Supply-chain Administration: Internet of Things
with RFID gives many preferences to retailers. With the equipping of RFID in
items, a retailer can easily track their stocks. Retailers can monitor every
one of the things in a store and to keep them from going out of stock.
From the above examples, it is
seen that the IOT will increase automation in homes, schools, stores, and in
many industries. The industrial internet of things (IIOT) which is basically the
application of the Internet of things to the production / manufacturing
industry has the potential to revolutionize plant operations by empowering the
procurement and availability of far more noteworthy measures of information, at
far more prominent rates, and much more proficiently than some time recently. Many
innovative companies have started to implement the IIOT by leveraging
intelligent, connected devices in their production plants. Thereby eliminating
the need for middle men in computer to computer interactions.
this point in our evolution, we are creating a workplace where we will see devices
and machineries better connect to each other and their environment for enhanced
collaboration and productivity. And this will ultimately lead to the office of
the future, were jobs will be done mostly via robotic devices and automated
service delivery will be the order of the day.
factors and internet of things
value to be gotten from of the Internet of Things are supposed to be numerous.
In any case, the challenges and lifestyle implications in executing the
internet of Things appropriately also may be equally numerous. In my perspective internet of things is
automation on steroids because it promises the capabilities to totally eliminate
human operation of devices/ machines. Now machine can talk and operate one
another. With the pursuit to create the next “smart thing” in the society e.g.
(smart cars, smart factories, smart homes), inventors and designers have
eliminated physical workload in our day to day activities. But I am afraid that this internet
of things will lead to humans being over-reliant on technology to do our day to
day activities while neglecting the positive physical aspect of work. And this relying solely on technology in
every aspect of our lives could lead to a health crises via sedentary living.
With regards to the field
of ergonomics, the knowledge of positive and negative stress due to physical
workload is widespread. But we hardly encourage or publicize or even take into
consideration the benefits of good physical workload on the human beings.
Instead over time ergonomics has been known as a synonym for good posture. This
has yielded an inefficient and a counterproductive way of life where by we try
to eliminate all or most physical tasks done by humans. For so many years designers
and inventors have tried to make our way of living better and prevent health
risks by introduction of less physical workload activities in the workforce.
Typically, this has been done via machine automation and recently global
industrial internet of things (smart machines, smart facilities, smart devices
or smart way of life.) Without giving proper diligence to the fact that this lack
of physical workload will lead to associated health risks work and workout
I my opinion human factored oriented designs should try as much as possible to
aim at promoting healthy, active lifestyle. To enhance our way of life, our
design mindset about the utilization of the internet of things should not aim
at promoting unhealthy and sedentary living, which is currently one of the
leading causes of fatality and illness in the world today. WHO but rather it
should encourage a more salutogenic
What is sedentary lifestyle
It is a life style were human beings live with
little or no physical activity or exercise. Sedentary lifestyle – Wikipedia Sedentary behavior refers to any waking activity
characterized by an energy expenditure ? 1.5 metabolic equivalents and a
sitting or reclining posture. In general, this means that any time a person is
sitting or lying down, they are engaging in sedentary behavior. Common
sedentary behaviors include TV viewing, video game playing, computer screen
time, driving and reading.1
The globalization of the current process of internet of things have the
potential of threatening our way of life with regards to maintaining a healthy
lifestyle. People are spending more and more hours of their day doing sedentary
activities. For example, we sit when we want to relax. Also, when we work we are
sitting more than ever. And this can be attributed to the continuous drive to globalize
the internet of things aka making things smarter. Ultimately, many of our jobs
have become more sedentary. Work hours every day is being spent sitting at a
desk monitoring and observing how computers interact with one another. Thereby ensuring the extinction of every physical
workload as regards work.
Lifestyle and associated risks
A lot of
evidence exists to demonstrate that being sedentary will lead to greater ill
health and a shorter life expectancy. Lack of physical
activity is a common factor in many chronic conditions2 and
inactivity has been directly linked to musculoskeletal changes. Examples of the
impact of sedentary behavior on some aspects of musculoskeletal health:
includes back pain, knee pain, shoulder pains etc. 27-30 Sedentary Behavior and Musculoskeletal Disorders
of the deterioration we see with aging of our workforce can be attributed to a
more sedentary lifestyle instead of aging itself.” a mountain of evidence
Par example, the oil and gas industry has over
the last decade transformed its way of working by introducing the internet of
things to the oilfield. Resulting in field engineers having to spend most of
their time observing jobs via screens and monitors. Because of this, typical
engineering processes have been automated and are now being controlled by
machines via the internet. This reduction in physical work, will not just lead
to back pains from over sitting during work hours but can result in shortage of
Over the last few years various health
organizations have highlighted this death by sitting phenomenon where by the
increasing trend of inactivity in the workplace leaves workers/ human susceptible
to terminal ailments e.g heart diseases and musculoskeletal disorders. It has
been advised that people should increase the amount of physical workload done
at the job. But due to the continual investment in the industrial internet of
things most workplace is still being designed to eliminate every possible form
of physical activity.
How to eliminate sedentary life style when
implementing internet of things
To integrate Salutogenic approach via introduction
of optimal physical activities in the work place, designers of internet of
things need an organizational concept and methodology. In the following, I will
give an overview of such concepts as discussed by…….. In work and work out
Separate Training Concept (STC):
STC is all about compensating for removal of
physical workload from the workplace by introduction of separate training
plans/ programs for the workers. Typically, organizations help in paying for
gym membership or sometimes provide a gym facility at the workplace.
Work Process Redesign (WPR):
Since the global acceptance of the industrial
internet of things is here to stay, to incorporate good physical workload, most
jobs will have to be redesigned. Ways to do this can include partially
Added Time Concept (ATC):
Like the name suggest
this concept involves creating an allowance for additional time for workers to
take breaks and stretch etc. For example, most oil and gas firms has a type of regulation
that ensures employees take a 15 minutes break after every 2hours of work.
to solve the issue of sedentary lifestyle that result from human dependency on
internet of things we should apply the concept of neat. NEAT (Non-Exercise
Activity Thermogenesis), simply means activities that we do not define as
training or exercise. For instance, any way we deviate from sitting either by
standing or making small movements will add up in preventing sedentary living.
What can we do practically in the
workplace and at home to change this behavior The following are some list
of activities we can consciously incorporate in our life to eliminate sedentary
lifestyle health risk factors. How can I be more active at work?
More meetings should be done while standing
up, the encourages creativity and its good for brain performance while reducing
risk factors due to sedentary lifestyle. Also, workers should cultivate the
habit of having face to face meetings/ conversations with colleagues’ when
possible instead for calling via phone or messaging via skype/ emails. Also
utilization of a standing desk and frequent use of the stair case are good ways
to reduce sedentary lifestyle. Finally parking farther away will give the
employee ample time to walk.
To eliminate or at least reduce the development
of sedentary lifestyle when we introduce internet of things at home. We should
try as much as possible to capitalize on any opportunity to move or stretch.
Because the benefits add up positively over time. Example do yoga stretches,
stand while taking via the telephone, take frequent strolls around the house.
Stand up during tv commercials, take breaks when binge watching etc.
Benefits of internet of things are numerous
but Internet of things is more than just interfacing gadgets. It’s a new way of
life, therefore when fabricating projects about internet of things, designers
should take into consideration the total wellbeing of the users by expanding
their scope of thinking about this innovation to include the human side of the
by understanding how reliance on the internet of things eliminates physical
workload, encourage sedentary lifestyle and its resulting health problems, we
can do more by advising and guiding humans to think about their lifestyle and
to address their health risks. A more Salutogenic lifestyle approach is needed
in workplace / home when introducing internet of things.
In addition to incorporating an optimal level
of physical activity in our daily work life, it is advisable that we create
policies and plans that creates an encourages the workplace and people in
general to embrace physical activity.