Smart Park Benches Weigh Sitters




This is Scientific American's 60-Second Health. I'm Dina Fine Maron. Got a minute?
On a beautiful day in Moscow, visitors to a park can sit on a bench, enjoy the scenery and find out how much they weigh.
New park benches will include scales that capture a sitting person's weight.
The smart seats are to be sponsored by local gyms, according to Russian news reports.
In a bid to boost fitness, the benches will also display health tips.
And, of course, advertise nearby fitness centers.
The idea has been vetted before: a fitness club in the Netherlands installed benches with scales at a public bus stop.
The sitter's weight was shown in large lettering on a nearby electronic panel.
Russia aims to scale up the experiment: Moscow plans to debut at least 20 weighing benches by the end of the year.
The benches have their limits:
they don't throw people off so they'll get some exercise instead of sitting,
and they have yet to be programmed to make snide remarks.
But perhaps the benches will most improve health by motivating Muscovites to extend a stroll rather than sit and have their weights displayed to curious passersby.
Thanks for the minute, for Scientific American's 60-Second Health. I'm Dina Fine Maron.