How does it work?
Upright Go is a small, discreet gadget that attaches to your upper back using special adhesive stickers (which are hypoallergenic – good news for those with sensitive skin). Simply stick it on, download the free Upright Go app on your smartphone, sync the device using Bluetooth and you’re ready to start improving your posture.
The app immediately begins tracking your posture, and prompts you enter your age, height, weight and back pain. It then creates a customised posture training plan, which you can access by turning on ‘Training Mode’ – a clever feature that causes the gadget to gently vibrate every time you begin to slouch, alerting you to sit up straight again.
After each training session – which Upright Go suggest doing daily to help you form better posture habits – you can then switch to ‘Tracking Mode’, which continues to monitor your posture for the rest of the day. You can see how good (or bad) your posture really, set goals and check how you’ve improved over time.
Does it actually help with back pain?
Yes – bad posture changes the alignment of your spine, putting pressure on areas that don’t need it. And when your body is out of alignment? That’s when pain starts.
Over the years, the excessive strain caused by slouching can become so bad that it decreases the integrity of your spinal column causing discs to weaken and compress, and vertebrae to erode – leading to long-term pain and discomfort. Bad posture can even cause pain in other parts of your body including your hips, shoulders, and neck, leading to tension headaches.
While app alone won’t ‘cure’ existing back pain – especially if you have any muscle, spine or nerve conditions – it can certainly help to reduce daily discomfort and stop it from worsening due to bad postural habits.
It’s worth checking with your GP or specialist before using Upright Go if you have existing back issues, but as it was developed with the help of back surgeons and chiropractors, and has since been recommended by the NHS and the American Posture Institute, you know you’re in safe hands.
What did SL think?
As chronic slouchers, we were incredibly keen to try it out, but sceptical as to whether it could improve a lifetime (well, a good 12 years of daily laptop use). The first thing to note is how strange it felt to actually sit up straight – as the experts all say, it can feel slightly uncomfortable as your body is so used to its bad postural habits.
The vibrations – albeit very gentle – were also slightly surprising at first: when we stopped concentrating on sitting up straight for a few seconds, it was shocking how quickly we began to slouch again without realising. But by the end of the first hour, we’d considerably improved (and felt slightly like a dog with a training collar).
Two weeks on, and our posture has changed for the better – even when we’re not wearing the device – and we’re reaping the benefits: less stress, reduced muscle tightness and pain, more productivity and better breathing. It’s even helped with our tech-neck: as the device can be worn while walking, it’s made us more mindful about glancing down to check our iPhone on-the-go.
Research suggests a real habit takes 21 days to build, so we’re not there quite yet, but we can say this is a must-buy if you want to improve your posture.
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