BreakSense: Combining Physiological and Location Sensing to Promote Mobility during Work-Breaks


Work breaks can play an important role in the mental and physical well-being of workers and contribute positively to productivity. In this paper we explore the use of activity-, physiological-, and indoor-location sensing to promote mobility during work-breaks. While the popularity of devices and applications to promote physical activity is growing, prior research highlights important constraints when designing for the workplace. With these constraints in mind, we developed BreakSense, a mobile application that uses a Bluetooth beacon infrastructure, a smartphone and a smartwatch to encourage mobility during breaks with a game-like design. We discuss constraints imposed by design for work and the workplace, and highlight challenges associated with the use of noisy sensors and methods to overcome them. We then describe a short deployment of BreakSense within our lab that examined bound vs. unbound augmented breaks and how they affect users’ sense of completion and readiness to work.