So, it was time to call in the big guns. I procured a device that's meant to correct slouching, called Upright Go 2 ($100). It's a really slim, compact "trainer" that sticks to your back and buzzes to correct you whenever you're not in good posture, and it guarantees that you'll stop slouching in 14 days or they'll give you your money back. Not satisfied after a month? They'll also give you your money back. So yeah...that's some serious confidence.
When I met with the founder Oded Cohen, he explained that to have good posture, you really need three key things: the first is to be upright, the second is to have core muscle strength, and the last (and most difficult factor) is that you have to remember to be upright. That's where Upright Go comes in—it's your personal posture trainer that works by reminding you to sit up straight. It does this by sticking to your skin with a reusable, hypoallergenic adhesive. Using biofeedback, it starts to sense what your spine is doing, and when it detects that your body isn't in a good posture, it gives subtle vibrations for real-time feedback.
It's synced up with your phone on an app, so it's actually tracking your progress and time spent in either good posture or slouching. It'll even display your stats in cute little pie charts and graphs, so you can watch as you sit up straighter. It's not an intense experience, the trainer gradually progresses to improve your posture so that from the word go, you're not forced to sit like a robot for hours at a time. Instead, you can have a daily training session that's only 10 to 15 minutes long, and you can always leave it on but put it in "tracking" rather than "training' mode (so it won't vibrate whenever you slouch if you're trying to actually chill).
I turned mine on and thought a little vibration wouldn't do much to change my slouching habits, but I quickly learned that those buzzes, while small, were effective. I began to immediately obey them the second that I felt them. My first day, I was a perfect student, and was surprised by how much of an impact on my posture the tiny device made. "It's a gradual training program so that you can strengthen slowly," says Cohen. "If you sit straight for an hour straight off, you will wake up with sore muscles because your muscles aren't used to good posture." This way, it's more of a digestible program that you'll stick to rather than dismiss days later.
I used it diligently for a week and actually found myself having better posture—even when I wasn't in training mode. I sat up straighter so that I didn't have to feel the scolding vibration, which gradually did away with the time I sat hunched over. Now, while I'm still not perfect at keeping my shoulders back, I do find that my brain is more aware of when I'm not sitting up straight, and for now, I'll take it. You know what they say: Knowing is half the battle.
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