Workspace zone differentiation tool for visualization of seated postural comfort

Jingzhou (James) Yang, Uday Verma, Timothy Marler, Steve Beck, Salam Rahmatalla, Chad Harrison

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Over the past several years, significant advances have been made in the area of posture prediction. However, to make simulations more useful for vehicle design, additional unique tools are needed. This research focuses on the development of one such tool, called workspace zone differentiation or zone differentiation. This new tool allows users to visualize not only the complete reach envelope but also the interior comfort levels of the envelope. It uses a color map to display the relative values of various human performance measures (i.e., comfort) at points surrounding an avatar. This is done by leveraging an optimization-based approach to seated posture prediction. Using this tool, a vehicle designer can visually display the impact that the placement of a control (switch, button, etc.) has on a driver's seated postural comfort. The comfort values are displayed in a manner similar to how finite element analysis (FEA) programs display stress and strain results. Within multi-objective optimization (MOO) for seated posture prediction, the objective function is defined as the mathematical rating model for discomfort. A direct mapping method is used to correlate subjective (survey) comfort levels with the mathematical rating model. Based on the correlated mathematical model, we develop the graphical user interface to display the comfort zones.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)267-276
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Industrial Ergonomics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2009


  • Comfort model
  • Feeling scale
  • Reach envelope
  • Seated posture
  • Workspace zone differentiation


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