Some high-tech (and low-tech) ways to fix your posture
You may have adjusted your desk height, raised your monitors, or even sprung for some anti-fatigue mats to make your work setup more comfortable, but have you
thought about your posture?
Whether your job involves standing up all day or staring at a screen, it’s likely that your posture takes a backseat to whatever task you have at hand. This can lead to back and neck pain, and, if you don’t do something about it, a permanently hunched stature. So how should you go about actually making a difference in the way you sit and stand? Turns out, there’s an app for that.
Bad posture leads to neck, back, and other pain. From .
The Lumo Back and Lumo Lift
Health tech company Lumo has two products designed to help people improve their posture. The Lumo Back is a sensor that you strap around your waists. Every time you slouch, the sensor will buzz. The connected app allows users to see amount of time they’ve slouched and gives an overall “posture score.”
Ariel Schwartz, who tried out the product for Fast Co. Exist, reported: “According to the sensor, my posture while working is terrible and so I received a buzz every few minutes. Even while standing up, the sensor buzzed me. On the toilet, it buzzed me. The buzzing never ended, and so I had to remove the device altogether more than a few times.”
But despite this discomfort, the Lumo Back did work: Schwartz said she started to sit a little bit taller. Unfortunately, with a price tag of $150, this app, which can also keep track of the amount of steps a user takes, is best used by those most serious about posture improvements.
Lumo’s second product, on the other hand, is a bit less involved and costs less, too. You can preorder the Lumo Lift (it ships in spring) for just $69. It consists of an app and smaller device that can be clipped magnetically to anywhere on the chest area. While the Lumo Back focuses on lower back posture, the Lumo Lift monitors the upper body, the part of the body most affected by being hunched over a keyboard all day. Like the Lumo Back, the Lumo Lift will buzz when posture is bad.
If hooking yourself up to any sort of device—whatever the cost—seems too extreme, there are other ways to improve your posture.
First, be aware of what constitutes good posture. Use a mirror to ensure that your back is straight, shoulders squared, chin up, chest out, and stomach in. You should be able to draw an imaginary line from your earlobe through your shoulder, hip, knee, to the middle of your ankle. Train your muscles. Strengthen the muscles across your upper back, and when exercising, be sure to work out agonist and antagonist muscles equally. Stretch. There a number of stretches you can work into short breaks at work. And even if you are paying attention to your posture while sitting at your desk, you should be taking breaks to sand up and stretch. Take up yoga. Proper body alignment and balance can both improve posture. Practice. See what good posture feels like by standing up against a wall and sitting up straight in your chair. If you find yourself falling back into a slouch, there’s a less technical posture reminder you can wear: standing with good posture, have someone tape an X across your back from your shoulders to your hips. Add a line of tape across the top of your shoulders. Like this, you’ll feel the tape tug every time you slip into a slouch.