Grabbing a massage as you walk around town has never been so easy.
A group of Cornell students recently invented an electric vest embedded with tiny motors intended to knead and massage the user’s back and shoulders. The vest, which was created in hopes of relieving stress linked to negative health effects, was even designed to mimic human touch. “It’s like someone stroking you really lightly, like a mother soothing a kid who just woke up from a nightmare,” one of the vest’s creators, senior Marina Gaeta, told the Cornell Chronicle.
Stress causes the body to release a hormone known as cortisol, which can negatively impact a person’s health if released for extended amounts of time. The effects can include increased heart pressure, decreased bone density, obesity, and impaired cognitive performance.
The trio from Cornell that invented the vest see it as a combatant to these health issues. “We find that in our modern way of life a lot of people have unnaturally and chronically elevated levels of cortisol,” said Gaeta. Multiple reports have found that stress can lead to a loss of productivity – at one point the World Health Organization estimated that job stress was costing American business as much as $300 billion annually in lost productivity, medical payments, and worker absences.