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EEG study: Aeris Swopper increases ability to concentrate

EEG study: The effect of dynamic posture control while sitting on Aeris Swopper on the ability to concentrate.

In the present study it was investigated to what extent dynamic sitting sitting on the Aeris Swopper has an influence on the short- and long-term ability to concentrate and the corresponding Brain activity brain activity.

Here, EEG measurements are used to infer the degree of psychophysiological alertness and the ability to concentrate.

The advantage of this examination method is a coupling with external stimuli such as the execution of concentration tests. These serve as stimuli for the afferent pathways of the central nervous system, in the respective test condition. To date, few studies have investigated the effect of fine motor control on cognitive performance and corresponding brain activity. In the present experimental laboratory study, 45 subjects aged 22 to 27 were tested under controlled conditions in a group design. Three sitting conditions were implemented: sitting on a movable Swopper, a static test stool of the same appearance specially made for the study, and a conventional office chair with backrest. The test persons completed tests to record short- (d2-R test) and long-term concentration ability (Mackworth Clock test). Spontaneous electroencephalographic activity was recorded under resting conditions before and after the concentration tests and during the processing of the concentration tests.

The behavioural data demonstrate better performance in terms of short- and long-term concentration ability when sitting on the movable Swopper. This is reflected in a greater number of items completed in the recording of short-term concentration ability in the d2-R test as well as lower reaction times in the Mackworth Clock test. The EEG data provide clues to the underlying neural mechanisms of the observable increase in performance in the concentration tests when sitting on the mobile Swopper.

Overall, working on the mobile Swopper shows stronger frontal theta activity, stronger frontal and occipital alpha and alpha1 activity, and stronger beta activity, especially when working on tasks that assess short-term concentration ability. Stronger beta1 activity during the d2-R test and Mackworth Clock test indicates an alert and attentive psychophysiological state of the cognitive system, which is achieved when sitting on the mobile Swopper in contrast to working on a conventional office chair with a backrest or a static stool.

In summary, working on the mobile Swopper has positive effects on the ability to concentrate in observable behaviour and also the underlying brain activation. The results found in the present study show the potential of dynamic postural control while sitting and its use in everyday school and work life and have important implications for the design of learning and working environments.

About the study:

February 2015

Univ. Prof. Dr. phil. W. Schöllhorn
Dr. Dipl.-Physch. D. Henz
Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz
Department 02 -. Sozialwissenschaften, -Medien, Sport (Faculty for Social studies, Media, Sport)
Institut für Sportwissenschaft (Institue for Sciences)
Abteilung Trainigs- und Bewegungswissenschaft (Department for Training- and Motion Sciences)
Albert-Schweitzer-Strasse 22
55128 Mainz