The Wear-It study:

Using Wearable Technologies to Characterise Physical Interactions in Workplaces

How often, how closely and for how long people physically interact in the workplace is an important factor in determining the risk of transmission of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19.

The Wear-It study – part of Theme 2 of the PROTECT COVID-19 National Core Study – aims to measure and understand these interactions, including how they may be influenced by social distancing polices. This data will be fed into the transmission risk models being developed by other researchers in Theme 2, improving our understanding of virus transmission and effective control measures in workplaces, transport and other public settings.

The Wear-It study uses wearable technologies – typically, a small electronic sensor worn on a lanyard – to collect highly detailed data on physical interactions taking place among volunteers at participating workplaces.

This data will provide evidence to answer questions such as:

  • How often, for how long and at what distance do workers interact in different workplaces and sectors?
  • How might these patterns be influenced by workplace social distancing policies, other COVID-19 control measures, and workplace design?
  • How might the patterns of these interactions be changing during the pandemic?

The wearable devices will be combined, where possible, with static beacons that will provide zoning information to help further refine the predicted risk of transmission (e.g. based on room characteristics such as size, ventilation and occupancy), or show how people behave in particular locations.

The Wear-It study is also looking to make use of similar technologies already being employed by businesses to help maintain social distancing in workplaces or identify possible contacts of COVID-19 positive cases. If your business is employing such technologies and would be willing to discuss the possibility of sharing anonymised contact data to support this research, please get in touch below.

For further details on how to join the study as a volunteer workplace or participant, to discuss sharing anonymised contact data, or for any other enquiries, please get in touch with the study team directly:


Additional information and documents such as invitation letters for workplaces and employees considering taking part in this study are available for download below.



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