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'Happy Chair' That Helps to Beat Winter Blues Developed

by VR Sreeraman on  August 22, 2010 at 8:35 AM Mental Health News   - G J E 4
A student in Scotland has designed a special "happy chair" to give much-needed light therapy to people suffering the winter blues.

Chuang, Meng Jung decided to take action after noticing how the weather and natural light in Scotland differed from her home country of Taiwan.
 'Happy Chair' That Helps to Beat Winter Blues Developed
'Happy Chair' That Helps to Beat Winter Blues Developed
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After researching the British weather and its effects on the population, she set about designing a product that would help those in need of a health-giving boost of light.

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The result is now going on display at Edinburgh College of Art. She hopes the chair will now go into full production.

Chuang was particularly concerned about the effects of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) - a form of depression which affects people during the darker winter months.

She discovered that women were twice as likely as men to suffer SAD, with as many as one in five having symptoms of depression during pregnancy.

The results of her research led her to build the Revive chair, with built-in lights to give users the recommended daily dose of light mimicking the effects of natural light.

"In Taiwan we don't have this problem," the Scotsman quoted Chuang as saying.

"So I decided to focus on this condition because up to half a million people are thought to experience that problem."

Chuang found that light therapy, such as using light boxes which emit strong light, was effective in treating SAD. But users had to pay for their own expensive equipment.

The Revive chair gives off the same high-strength light used by other equipment to treat SAD.

"The chair is touch sensitive, the lights come on for the recommended daily dose of 30 minutes, turning back to white light after this time so the user knows they've had their 'dose'," Chuang added.

Chuang took inspiration for the shape of the chair from the position of babies cocooned in the womb.

Source: ANI
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