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New Blood Entry — Kei Yen Lam

Award: In Book

Product Design / 2013

The S.U.S. (Sit-up Support) is designed to serve as an undergarment that hints the everyday business commuter to sit up straight, and help support the user as they become tired where good posture is difficult to maintain. The main posture problems that the S.U.S. target are forward shoulders and spinal alignment. There is a misconception with commuters that cycling like an athlete, with distinct spinal curvature for a streamline effect, would benefit them during their daily commute. This is a misconception because commuters only travel at 10-15mph on average, which is less than half of what cycling athletes will reach on a continuous cycle; there are no traffic lights to stop at, turning indications to conduct or other road hazards that will cause regular change in speeds for the everyday commuter. The majority of commuters currently cycle with rucksacks on back and with relatively level saddles to handles, which unhealthy promotes shoulder strain and forward shoulders. These issues of bad posture, if prolonged, can result in other medical problems, from stress, headaches, and backaches. In other scenarios, bladder problems can also occur due to damage to the spinal cord at the lower lumber. Though initially designed to aim at those who work at a desk, where bad posture is a prominent issue, the S.U.S. can also prove to be useful in other industries where forward shoulders is an issue or spinal alignment is crucial, such as workers who are required to lift moderately heavy objects. The S.U.S. is structurally designed to hint at the user, instead of acting like a brace that holds the user up. This is decided in order to allow the user to train their back and shoulder muscles to promote healthy cycling/sitting postures even when the S.U.S. is not in use. Yet, the elasticity of the S.U.S. should provide support to the user after prolonged sitting to maintain posture. Although designed to be an undergarment, the S.U.S. can very well be worn by itself (with appropriate coverage for females) during the commute to and from work. Due to the use of merino wool weaved into the Lycra, temperature regulation should be able to sustain commutes in dry, out-of-cold-season weathers. In terms of the final model, the elasticity strengths are not accurate, but the variation in elasticity according to the different parts is intentional.

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