An ergonomic solution for ventilating backpack design

Q. C. Li, Y. Luximon (Corresponding Author), V. H.Y. Chu, B. M.H. Ip, S. H.T. Kwan, K. C.K. Lau

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingConference article published in proceeding or bookAcademic researchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Comfort issue is one of the major concerns regarding backpack design. Previous studies have tried to improve backpack comfort in different ways such as reducing load weights and balancing the load distribution. However, few studies have investigated the issues related to thermal comfort, which is a fundamental problem for bicycle rider with backpacks. This study aimed at improving the user’s experience for those who cycle with backpacks by providing a better ventilation design and body support. Interviews were firstly completed among fifty participants to investigate their usage pattern and usability issues regarding backpack use. Following, a test was conducted with participants to find out the possible difficulties and problems when cycling with a backpack. The main sweating areas on the back were identified. Design criteria were formulated, and a product prototype was developed accordingly. An experiment was then conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of the ventilation design in two conditions of walking and cycling. Skin temperatures of the back were measured using the infrared thermographic camera. Results showed that the shell support of the backpack design could provide better air circulation in the gap between the body and the backpack. Wearing the ventilating backpack could significantly decrease back temperature and improve the user’s thermal comfort while cycling.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 20th Congress of the International Ergonomics Association (IEA 2018) - Volume VII
Subtitle of host publicationErgonomics in Design, Design for All, Activity Theories for Work Analysis and Design, Affective Design
EditorsSebastiano Bagnara, Riccardo Tartaglia, Sara Albolino, Thomas Alexander, Yushi Fujita
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9783319960708
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2019
Event20th Congress of the International Ergonomics Association, IEA 2018 - Florence, Italy
Duration: 26 Aug 201830 Aug 2018

Publication series

NameAdvances in Intelligent Systems and Computing
ISSN (Print)2194-5357


Conference20th Congress of the International Ergonomics Association, IEA 2018


  • Backpack
  • Ergonomics
  • Thermal comfort
  • Ventilation design

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • General Computer Science


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