Technical Considerations for the Design of Smart Apparel for the Overweight

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Title: Technical Considerations for the Design of Smart Apparel for the Overweight
Author: Park, Jung Hyun
Advisors: Prof. Nancy Boiter Powell, Committee Co-Chair
Dr. Hoon Joo Lee, Committee Chair
Dr. Katherine Carroll, Committee Member
Abstract: According to the National Center for Health Statistics of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services approximately 65% of adults in the United States were overweight in the period of 2003~2006. Overweight and obesity are associated with increased health risks and estimated medical expenditure attributed to obesity reached $147 billion in 2008. Various smart healthcare clothing, monitoring vital signs such as blood pressure, heart rate, electrocardiogram (ECG), respiration, and body temperature, have been presented by researchers and is in great demand owing to an increasing interest in health and well-being. Waist circumference provides important information related to body fat and multiple health risks. This research is an investigation to develop smart apparel for the overweight, called Body Monitoring Smart Apparel (BMSA). BMSA was designed in order to measure waist circumference and convey the information to users participating weight management. A textile sensor, called elastic strain gauge, made of carbon black and polyurethane was developed in order to measure body circumference. A BMSA consisting of leotard or bodysuit made of cotton and spandex was designed in order to fix the position of the elastic strain gauges around waist and to be fitted well on the body. In addition, BMSA selection options considering body shape, size, and garment preference were presented. The relationship between electric resistance of elastic strain gauge developed in this research and its length was basically linear. In the washing durability test, the linear relationship remained after 20 times washing cycles. A prototype sample of BMSA having an elastic strain gauge was prepared. A 3D body scanner, Computer-aided Design (CAD), and Computer-aided Manufacturing (CAM) technologies were used in order to design a well fit BMSA.
Date: 2009-12-07
Degree: MS
Discipline: Textiles

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