Join us to participate in the upcoming 2019 City:One Challenge. 

Therapy on the IndyGo

Public transportation seats that support proper spinal alignment and provide the opportunity for self-care for non-emergent aches and pain

Photo of Lauren Harden
20 14

Written by

Although built for convenience and affordability, comfortable, relaxing or most of all therapeutic are not terms we typically associate with public transportation.  In fact as a chiropractic doctor, I can tell you that most of the individuals in my health and wellness family schedule their spinal alignment appointments around travel plans anticipating some of the discomforts experienced in cars, buses, trains and airplanes.  This is an unfortunate consequence of public transportation but it doesn’t have to be.  2020 is ready for its first mobile therapy transportation system made available by Body Mechanics Health and Wellness, LLC, a mobile health and wellness business.  Therapy on the (Indy)GO is a workable solution that achieves integrating transportation options that create a unique healthcare experience for Indianapolis residents, workers and visitors as they move around Marion County. 

Physically, humans have adopted postural habits that have begun to have detrimental effects on our bodies in the form of anatomical changes, neck and back pain.  Majority of the complaints that I see in practice are manageable with self-care and intentional implementation of daily health habits.  In general, we all have lifestyle habits that put necessary stress on our bodies and we need to be able to properly manage that pain in order to accomplish our daily routines.

  • The Center for Disease Control states that musculoskeletal disorders are associated with high costs to employers such as absenteeism, lost productivity, and increased health care, disability, and worker’s compensation costs.
  •  Low-back pain costs Americans at least $50 billion in health care costs each year—along with lost wages and decreased productivity that figure easily rises to more than $100 billion dollars each year. 
  • Cell phone, computer and tablet use has increased the prevalence of forward head carriage, reversed curvature of the cervical spine (and also, the epidemic of “text-neck” a condition associated with excessive use of technology for long periods of time.)

These are just a few of the general problems that speak to the effects that pain has on the cost of healthcare and business productivity in America.  People that are in good health tend to out-perform those that are not and so having a healthy operational business these days tends to mean more than financial prosperity. My corporate clients can speak to this as many of them have expressed that having therapy more readily available to them has enhanced their work environment and improved their working experience.  This is the nature of having accessible preventative healthcare options and this is something my business would like to offer to the Indianapolis area on a larger scale. 

We can create public transportation seats that support proper spinal alignment and provide the opportunity for self-care for common, non-emergent aches and pains by adding features to a public transportation seat that heat the muscles of the back, provide neck and low back supports, implement height adjustable seating, fashion arm rests that properly support the upper body, and incorporate an eye-level holder for mobile devices. Proper seated posture includes creating 90 degree angles at the hips, knees and ankles with the feet resting comfortably on the ground.  The current seat is designed to be inclusive for patrons of various shapes and sizes however; it isn’t always the “correct fit.”

We will improve the health and welfare of Indiana residents of Marion County by providing time sparing self care technologies and cost efficient therapy options on a mobile vehicle using evidence based healthcare solutions.  This solution does not fit within just one of the four traditional opportunity areas, it touches on aspects of a few of them and  addresses an unmet need in the city as it pertains to healthcare accessibility, community health education, and improving the overall mental and physical health of Indiana residents. 

Describe who will use your solution (1,000 characters)

The mobile therapy unit is an idea created in response to meet the needs of those we serve and promote the impact that we would like to have on the Indianapolis community. This project targets those that use public transportation daily as well as those actively seeking wellness opportunities. Our goal is to turn a traditionally uncomfortable transit environment into an opportunity for wellness for everyone. I believe that we can create a unique opportunity for people to practice preventative health care in transit with the use of therapeutic technology and health education. We accomplish this by creating a vessel of posture friendly self-care modalities for Marion county residents.

Describe your solution's stage of development

  • Initial Design - you are still exploring the idea and have not tested it with users

Tell us about your team or organization (500 characters)

Body Mechanics is a health and wellness business that specializes in chiropractic therapy, corporate wellness and preventative health patient education. We offer spinal health and wellness assessments, physiologically beneficial therapy and preventative health care interventions. Our mission is to provide exceptional healthcare to our patients and encourage them to be intentionally beneficial when creating personal physical, spiritual and emotional health habits.

Size of your team or organization

  • 2-10

Funding Request

  • $100,000

Rough Budget (500 characters)

In order to create 30-40 bus seats with the products suggested it would cost $10,000 plus the cost of labor and developing supplemental health education information. This solution doesn’t necessarily have to make changes to the current transportation network or infrastructure as these seat changes could be made available on the new transit vehicles or customizable on an older, operational vehicle.

Describe how you would pilot your idea (1000 characters)

The pilot phase involves customization of a mobile vehicle or modifying seats on current transit vehicles. We would be adding features to a public transportation seat that heat the muscles of the back (Fochutech Car Seat Heater, Universal Heated Seat Cushion Winter Car Seat Warmer Cover, Cooled Seat Covers & Massage Chair Pad), provide neck and low back support (Portable Back Support Belt Pad for Better Sitting Posture, Perfect Correcting Brace Ergonomic Waist Protector for Lower Backs, Aukee Car Seat Pillow Headrest Neck Support Travel Sleeping Cushion), implement height adjustable seating (Universal Chrome Truck Steps) , fashion arm rests that properly support the upper body (Armrest Breathable Soft Memory Foam Car Center Consoles Cushion All Seasons Universal Auto Seat Cushion), and incorporate an eye-level holder for mobile devices (Arkon Car or Truck Seat Rail or Floor Tablet Mount). Once we know how these modification affect the vehicle we will know what capacity we can serve.

Describe how you would measure the success of your pilot (1000 characters)

We will use pre and post treatment surveys, patient compliance statistics and therapy outcome measurements to assess the success of this project. Most electronic health record keeping systems provide methods of assessing the status of a patient pre and post appointment which can be used to give us feedback about the service. Body Mechanics Health and Wellness, LLC is owned by Dr. Lauren Harden D.C., host of “Medically Speaking” an interactive radio talk show focusing on community health and wellness topics broadcasted weekly on Radio One’s AM 1310 and FM 92.7 stations. “Medically Speaking” is a great tool that accompanies this project as it provides a reliable method of communication about the availability of the service vehicle and its locations/therapy opportunities. We will participate in community events as sponsors, vendors, etc in effort to gain revenue and show support via business partnerships within our community.

Sustainability Plan (500 characters)

We offer both out of pocket pricing and in-network health insurance plans as payment options for services that we will extend to this project. Currently this model attracts individuals seeking solutions to specific health problems as well as large businesses seeking general wellness care for employees and wanting to use their health insurance benefits. We will continue this funding model in the operation of the mobile vehicle with the added benefit of increasing onsite volume and productivity.

Attachments (1)

Ford Mobility Challenge.docx

Full written proposal for Therapy on the (Indy)Go by Body Mechanics Health and Wellness, LLC


Join the conversation:

Photo of Marjorie Harden

This is a great idea! Would this also work as a mobile vehicle that travels to businesses/corporate events for employee wellness events , and or professional sporting events as well?

Photo of Lauren Harden

Marjorie Harden Yes!! We surely could and probably will use the vehicles in the ways you suggest! There are certainly PLENTY of great locations/partnerships/events that the mobile unit could service and we will be at as many as we can! Thanks for the awesome question and suggestions!

View all comments