Toppan and FIGUR8 Conduct Pilot Test for Online Fitness Instruction Using Musculoskeletal Sensors

(Photo courtesy of Toppan)

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Enabling the provision of personalized training for functional improvement based on objective quantitative data

Tokyo – October 7, 2020 – Toppan Printing (Toppan) (TSE:7911), a global leader in communication, security, packaging, décor materials, and electronics solutions, and FIGUR8 Inc. (FIGUR8), a U.S.-based spin-off company of the MIT Media Lab specializing in musculoskeletal (MSK) health diagnostics using movement as a biomarker, have announced the results of pilot testing on the provision of physical training guidance based on using musculoskeletal sensors to collect data on movement.

The two companies have been collaborating since February 2020 on the development of services that leverage data on the movement of individual users. Factors including the novel coronavirus pandemic have recently driven increased demand in the online fitness sector. Aiming to cater to these needs, Toppan and FIGUR8 have used musculoskeletal sensors for fast, high-precision measurement, acquisition, and analysis of objective, quantitative data on body movement and conducted pilot testing on exercise instruction based on the measured data. Results of the test have enabled value for both trainers and test subjects to be identified.

The economic impact and increase in medical costs associated with musculoskeletal complaints and conditions has garnered attention in recent years. These complaints include stiff backs, necks, and shoulders; sprains, pulled muscles, ligament and tendon damage and other sports injuries; locomotive syndrome; and the after effects of strokes. One of the causes cited is pressure on joints and restriction of movement due to overstraining. Training and exercise therapy essentially works best when muscles are used flexibly and without strain. However, because this is sensory, it can be difficult for trainers to communicate to their clients. Additionally, in an online setting, it is hard for trainers to fully ascertain a client’s posture or the movement and condition of muscles that influence it, making it challenging to provide the best possible instruction to each client.

Pilot testing of online fitness instruction based on objective, quantitative data involved using FIGUR8’s musculoskeletal sensors and movement analysis program and collaborating with GOB Incubation Partners (GOB-IP), which operates the “Co-nect” man-to-man body maintenance service. Test subjects’ movements were measured with a high degree of accuracy in roughly ten minutes both before and after receiving instructions from a trainer, and data taken during training sessions was collected and analyzed. Training based on the data was then provided by GOB-IP.

The data measured focused on posture during movement and the front/back and left/right balance of hamstring and quadricep muscle contraction. Test subjects were asked to squat on both legs and on one leg at a time while measurements were taken of the angles of the knees and lower back as well as of muscle contraction.

About FIGUR8
For more information, visit

About GOB Incubation Partners and Co-nect
Co-nect is an in-house venture operated by GOB-IP that provides an online body maintenance service.
For more information, visit (in Japanese)

About Toppan
For more information, visit or follow Toppan on LinkedIn


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