07 Oct The Importance of Good Posture
The widespread use of technology is wreaking havoc on the posture of modern man. In coffee shops, subway cars and offices all over the world, millions of people can be found hunched over computer keyboards and mobile device screens. We all like to think that slouching is no big deal and that reminding ourselves to “stand up straight” will solve our problems, if only it was so easy. Years of poor postural habits can be incredibly difficult to change without proper attention.
What’s the Big Deal ?
A 2014 study conducted by Dr. Kenneth Hansraj found that continued pressure on the neck and spine – due to text neck – caused spinal degeneration over time. Extreme cases of text neck may even require surgery. Additional studies have shown that bad posture poses other health risks beyond muscular and spinal damage.
Maintaining an upright posture promotes blood flow, helps prevent back problems and increases the body’s oxygen intake.
Let’s be honest, conventional treatment methods are not practical for individuals with hectic job schedules or numerous time commitments. Furthermore, many individuals with bad posture are unaware of how poor their posture really is. Some people can go years without noticing postural issues until they begin experiencing pain. Fortunately, there are various digital aids that can improve poor posture regardless of when it was discovered.
Enter the world of wearable posture trackers. Posture trackers are gadgets that remind you to stand up straight and help develop your muscle memory. Within weeks wearers of these devices learn to be more aware of their bodies and to self-adjust when they feel themselves slipping into poor postural positions.
With so many options available on the market it can be hard to decide which one to purchase because many are functionally similar. A few however, are a cut above the rest. Below is a list of posture trackers that will have you standing taller in no time.
Named after the Alexander Technique used to avoid muscular tension. Alex is a posture tracker that vibrates every time the wearer’s body moves out of alignment. It is designed to rest comfortably behind the neck and ears and has customizable feedback settings. Alex also has a mobile app that lets users keep track of their daily and weekly posture improvement. The app also lets wearers view their posture alignment in real time.
Alex offers accurate alignment readings regardless of if its wearer is sitting or standing. You might want to readjust the settings though if you will be changing positions for an extended period of time. Alex is best at addressing text neck but is also effective at detecting hunched and slumped shoulders.
Lumo lift is a magnetic sensor that is worn near the collarbone. Holding its button for 3 seconds will turn it on and pressing it twice will calibrate it. There is no command that powers the device off, instead the device automatically powers off when placed on a flat surface. The device takes approximately 2 hours to charge and comes with an app that lets you know how many hours of good posture you were able to maintain.
Based on this product’s design, it seems that Lumo lift works best while walking and standing. It is small, discreet and is most suitable for individuals who want to correct their overall posture.
Upright is a wearable device that is worn on the wearer’s lower back area. Once attached – using specialized adhesive pads – users pair the device with their smart phone and select the training program they want to follow. Like the other products on this list, UPRIGHT vibrates when its wearer needs to adjust his or her posture. During the day wearers can use the UPRIGHT mobile app to track whether or not their posture is correct or a little off.
Upright’s ability to be placed on the lower back area makes it a good choice for those struggling with swayback and lordosis. It can also be hidden by clothing, but is still bulkier than the Lumo Lift.
Regardless of which posture tracker they consider buying, it is important for consumers to be mindful of their environment when calibrating their posture tracker. Correct posture can vary depending on whether a person is standing or sitting. In order to see the best results, posture trackers should be recalibrated whenever you change positions for a long period of time.
It should also be noted that posture trackers are not alternatives to medical treatment and work best when combined with proper diet and exercise. Individuals suffering from chronic neck and back pain are advised to visit their doctor in order to receive treatment for their symptoms. Additionally, yoga, physical therapy and mediation can also help eliminate posture woes.