University of Southern California
University of Southern California

Active Research
Enhancing Office Worker Wellness

In the U.S., there are 81 million office workers who spend 75% or more of their day working at a desk. Unfortunately, increased daily sitting time is linked to significant health conditions, including cardiovascular diseases and diabetes. Multiple other health-related issues arise in these workers due to poor ergonomic habits. Health conditions are further exacerbated by building-level control of environmental conditions, most specifically lighting and temperature. 

Intelligent Workstation

One method of enhancing office worker health is to leverage advances in artificial intelligence to develop an intelligent workstation that can support healthy environmental and behavioral changes either automatically or via an interactive interface. Our transdisciplinary research team envisions the emergence of a genuine partnership and coevolution of workers and their workstations. Specifically, we are working to design an intelligent workstation that learns worker preferences and patterns. We are exploring the ways in which an intelligent workstation and worker can coevolve through an ongoing, bidirectional process of sensing, feedback and learning to adjust postural, thermal and visual conditions at the workstation and moderate poor behaviors.

Several important research challenges will be addressed by our work:

Watch our video below to learn more about this exciting project:

Funding

Coadaptation of Intelligent Office Desks and Human Users to Promote Worker Productivity, Health and Wellness
National Science Foundation - Division of Civil, Mechanical, and Manufacturing Innovation (CMMI)
Co-PIs: Becerik, Roll, Lucas
Award Number: 1763134
Total Funding: $667,716
Funding Period: 8/1/18 - 7/31/22

Publications

Rodrigues, P. B., Xiao, Y., Fukumura, Y. E., Awada, M., Aryal, A., Becerik-Gerber, B., Lucas, G., & Roll, S. C. (2022). Ergonomic assessment of office worker postures using 3D automated joint angle assessment. Advanced Engineering Informatics, 52, 101596. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.aei.2022.101596 Show abstract

Awada, M., Becerik-Gerber, B., Lucas, G., & Roll, S. (2021). Associations among home indoor environmental quality factors and worker health while working from home during COVID-19 pandemic. Journal of Engineering for Sustainable Buildings and Cities, 2(4), 041001. https://doi.org/10.1115/1.4052822 Show abstract

Fukumura, Y. E., Schott, J. M., Lucas, G. M., Becerik-Gerber, B., & Roll, S. C. (2021). Negotiating time and space when working from home: Experiences during COVID-19. OTJR: Occupation, Participation and Health, 41(4), 223-231. https://doi.org/10.1177/15394492211033830 Show abstract

Roll, S. ., Lucas, G. M., & Becerik-Gerber, B. (2021). Authors’ response to “Work from home (WFH) during COVID-19: Is virtual reality (VR) a new solution to new problems?”. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 63(10), e757-e758. https://doi.org/10.1097/JOM.0000000000002340 Show abstract

Awada, M., Lucas, G., Becerik-Gerber, B., & Roll, S. (2021). Working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic: Impact on office worker productivity and work experience. Work, 69(4), 1171-1189. https://doi.org/10.3233/WOR-210301 Show abstract

Fukumura, Y. E., McLaughlin Gray, J., Lucas, G., Becerik-Gerber, B., & Roll, S. C. (2021). Office worker perspective on an artificial intelligence workstation: A qualitative study. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 75(Supplement_2), 7512505154. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2021.75S2-RP154 Show abstract

Aryal, A., Becerik-Gerber, B., Lucas, G. M., & Roll, S. C. (2021). Intelligent agents to improve thermal satisfaction by controlling personal comfort systems under different levels of automation. IEEE Internet of Things Journal, 8(8), 7089-7100. https://doi.org/10.1109/JIOT.2020.3038378 Show abstract

Xiao, Y., Becerik-Gerber, B., Lucas, G., & Roll, S. C. (2021). Impacts of working from home during COVID-19 pandemic on physical and mental well-being of office workstation users. Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 63(3), 181-190. https://doi.org/10.1097/JOM.0000000000002097 Show abstract

Fukumura, Y. E., McLaughlin Gray, J., Lucas, G. M., Becerik-Gerber, B., & Roll, S. C. (2021). Worker perspectives on incorporating artificial intelligence into office workspaces: Implications for the future of office work. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 1(4), 1690. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18041690 Show abstract

Aryal, A., Becerik-Gerber, B., Anselmo, F., Roll, S. C., & Lucas, G. (2019). Smart desks to promote comfort, health and productivity in offices: A vision for future workplaces. Frontiers in Built Environment, 5, 76. https://doi.org/10.3389/fbuil.2019.00076 Show abstract

Complete Presentation List

Fukumura, Y. E., Becerik-Gerber, B., Lucas, G. M., & Roll, S. C. (2020). Understanding office worker behavior to Inform an artificial intelligence workstation. Poster presentation at NIH Health in Buildings Roundtable Conference, Virtual Presentation.

Aryal, A., Becerik-Gerber, B., Anselmo, F., Roll, S. C., & Lucas, G. (2018). Smart desk to promote health and productivity. Poster presentation at NIH/NSF/CDC/GSA Health in Buildings for Today and Tomorrow: An Interdisciplinary Conference on Health and the Sustainable Built Environment, Bethesda, MD.