So I happened to see an advertisement for this product on Facebook about trying to help desk workers have better posture so I decided to review it. In the videos I saw, they show the product helping people working in front of a computer to keep their neck and upper back more upright when working. The product works by affixing a positional tracker that vibrates between your upper back and neck when you lose ideal positioning. It works via Bluetooth through an app for Android or iPhone that allows you to calibrate the tracker as well as track your stats.
What's In It?
Here's what's included in the box:
Upright Go Positional Tracker
Alcohol Cleaning Pads
Sticky Pads for Multiple Uses or Different Users
Adhesive Removal Tool
Looking at all the contents it is fairly straightforward how to use everything. The tracker itself is well designed as it is lightweight and easy to operate with one button with LED indicators to let you know it's status. It also has a plugin for you to charge via USB. The package comes with alcohol pads to help clean the skin of where you will be affixing the tracker to your spine. One of the first thoughts you have is when will you have to order these adhesive pads again, but they are fairly durable and should last a while based on our tests. You can also conveniently reorder the pads from their website. The other notable accessory was the adhesive remover tool as it can conveniently double as a light guitar pick when you want to jam out!
Setting It Up
To use the Upright Go, you simply remove the adhesive cover from one of the sticky pads and affix it to the underside of the tracker. After you download the Upright Go app to your phone you need to pair it to the phone via Bluetooth to start using it. Pairing is extremely quick and easy as it is guided along with helpful videos. Below are screenshots of the set up.
As I don't spend a significant amount of time in front of a computer these days, I decided to give it to our resident massage therapist Breanne to get her feedback as someone who sits more frequently.
The Upright Go was easy to setup and use. The instructions were clear and simple to follow. I learned pretty quickly how to stay in straight posture during my first training session. Any time I moved out of alignment there would be a vibration to signal I was out of position. Personally, I found the vibration to be startling and it would cause my muscles to tense up in reaction. As I tend to be more sensitive, my muscles did not like it. As a student, it is hard to not lean slightly over my desk when taking notes in class. I do my best to maintain a straight back when taking notes, but any slight lean would be considered slouching to the Upright Go. So I felt like the tracking data was slightly skewed, as it is impossible to stay in 100% upright posture all of the time. I was also hoping that "training" would include some exercises to help improve posture, as opposed to just being a biofeedback mechanism. Overall, I think this could be a very useful tool to help bring awareness to people who need help improving their posture.
My 2 Cents
If you've read my past article about posture, you'll know that I feel posture is more of a product of a person's environment rather than their volition. That is why on my tips page, I recommend trying to make your work environment more conducive to the posture you want to have rather than trying to fit posture to your environment. However, as someone who used to work in tech, I know first hand the working environment sometime does not leave you many choices.
That said, I believe this can be a very helpful tool to help people become more aware about how they use their bodies and help justify work area modifications and the need for breaks. That is why I think this device could be useful in a safety & ergonomics study to reduce work related neck strains which could potentially save some companies money and improve productivity.
Feel free to come by our chiropractic clinic in Kirkland to chat about this in person, or to see how we can help you improve your wellness.