As we all know, good posture and desk working don’t exactly go hand in hand when it comes to working in an office or using a keyboard for most of the day.
The smart answer to hunching over your desk every day may have arrived with the Upright Smart Posture Trainer which is looking to rehab your sitting habits and bring you back into perfect alignment.
By sticking the device to your upper or lower back, the system works by measuring and correcting your posture through a series of monitored feedback and training suggestions to re-program your posture throughout the day..
According to Harvard Health, good posture is defined as keeping your chin parallel to the floor, with your shoulders even, spine neutral (its natural position, without flexing or arching), and arms at your sides with straight, even elbows.
The problem, of course, is that very few of us have good posture, whether sitting or standing. While we might think it’s more comfortable to continue our poor posture habits, the reality is that it can cause blood vessel and nerve constriction, back pain and discomfort, and ongoing problems with your muscles, discs, and joints.
Despite our collective resistance to correcting our posture, the reality is that it can be as easy as regularly performing exercises like single leg extensions, back extensions, crunches, Pilates/Yoga, and more.
Pro tip: In addition to the above, proper posture in the work environment—as opposed to the “real” world—involves proper desk and chair height, placing your keyboard in the proper position, maintaining your monitor at the right level, and more. For actionable details, be sure to read Mayo Clinic’s Office Ergonomics Guide.
What about devices like the Upright Posture Trainer? Can you expect real-world results for your investment? Let’s take a look at how it works.
How Does the Upright Posture Trainer Work?
Upright’s manufacturer tells us their device is based on B.F. Skinner’s operant conditioning theory, which aims to understand behavior through an action-and-consequence model.
In layman’s terms, behavior can be changed in different ways, depending on the type of reinforcement used, which he classified into three different operants:
- Neutral operants have no effect on an individual’s behavior
- Reinforcers increase the likelihood of an individual repeating a behavior
- Punishers decrease the likelihood of an individual repeating a behavior
In this context, while not unpleasant by any stretch of the imagination, Upright’s gentle vibration acts as a ‘punisher’ when you slouch. It delivers an “aversive stimulus” that helps you remember a certain behavior (e.g. sitting up straight).
When regularly reinforced over time, such as during your Upright training (more soon), the behavior becomes habit, even without a ‘punishing’ operant present; e.g. the sensor’s gentle vibration.
If you’ve been following Uprights product line, you’re likely familiar with their first posture training solution: the Upright Pro. Although it’s a much larger device (and arguably more invasive) the Pro tracks both your upper and lower back posture. On the other hand, the Go tracks only your upper back posture. Additionally, the sticky pad won’t hold it in place during physical activity. This makes it fairly limited in terms of usability. It can be used pretty much exclusively for office or sitting work, and won’t be suitable for other uses. If posture while sitting is your main problem, the Upright Go can have a large impact on your health and wellbeing. But for most of us, it’s not going to be a complete solution to fix all of your postural issues.
So, did we notice a large improvement in our posture? Absolutely! After just two short weeks with the Upright Go, we found ourselves naturally sitting up straight without the need for an aid. In reality, we do think that you’ll be spending a little more time with this device than the 14 days recommended. That being said, you’ll definitely notice an improvement in this time. Overall, the Upright Go shows you how much you can accomplish with just a few simple changes.
One thing that you will want to keep in mind is that you won’t instantly feel better. When we first started to change our posture, we noticed that we felt a little more sore than usual. For this reason, we’d highly recommend combining the Upright Go with Yoga, stretching, or massage therapy. Your body is going through a major change, and after a week or two you’ll start to feel much better. But this device is simply one piece of the puzzle that makes everything possible.