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Exploring Design Opportunities for Technology-Supported Yoga Practices at Home

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Title
Exploring Design Opportunities for Technology-Supported Yoga Practices at Home
Author
Oh, Hyunmi
Advisor
Ian, Oakley
Issue Date
2019-08
Publisher
Graduate School of UNIST
Abstract
Yoga is a discipline that integrates mind and bodily exercises practiced for a number of health benefits. Although physical and mental health benefits from practicing yoga are well-known, people address time and cost as the primary barrier to incorporating yoga practices on a regular basis. A cost-effective solution to these limiting factors is adopting at-home practices. However, starting at-home yoga practices is difficult, especially for beginners, due to the lack of feedback on practitioners’ performance. To tackle this challenge, we explore design opportunities for an interactive artifact that can effectively support yoga practices at home that can potentially replace professional personal trainers. Our approach for exploring this design space begins with a user study with a group of yoga practitioners in order to identify design requirements in a yoga practice environment. Based on the results from the user study, we provide some design insights for developing a feedback-based artifact for yoga practice in the home environment. Then, we exemplify how suggested implications can be applied to design with an illustration of a biofeedback-based mat for yoga breathing exercises. Beyond this, we inspect how the mechanism of biofeedback for breathing can be implemented by building a low-cost respiration phase detector to evaluate the quality of breath. The results from the study on the development of phase detector show per-user classifiers can identify respiration phases with mean F-scores of 0.69 for all poses and 0.78 for the baseline pose. This is an acceptable result acknowledging numerous momentary judgments are made to identify each breathing phase. Moreover, per-user classifiers for identifying three yoga poses show promising results, which can expand the application areas of the breathing phase detector. Through this series of context-driven exploratory studies, we demonstrate approaches to investigate design opportunities for technology-supported at-home yoga.
Description
Department of Human Factors Engineering
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