Before we get started today, I have to come clean and admit something that I don’t often talk about: I have good posture. You just sat up a bit straighter in your chair, didn’t you? And that’s okay, because despite the terms we use to classify how one carries his or her self, posture is not a matter of morality or value. You can be a good person with bad posture or a bad person with good posture — but, not matter what, having good posture is good for your health, a boon to self-esteem, and influences the way others perceive you.
Standing upright with your shoulders back and chest raised and/or sitting straight with your back in a line (instead of a curve) has an effect on myriad parts of your body, as well as your overall well-being. Proper posture helps you breathe, reduces fatigue, and alleviates undue tension on joints, ligaments, muscles, and bones by keeping your body properly aligned. It can also play a role in self-confidence; when you stand or sit in the upright position, you will feel more energetic, capable, even attractive, and these same traits can be noticed by those around you.
Ah, but how to achieve proper posture, especially once you’re already well into your adult-ish years and far away from the loving nag of a parent or great aunt named Hilda? Simple! You just slip on the Backbone Smart Posture Brace and receive a gentle vibrating reminder every time you start to slouch.
Yes, I already admitted that I have pretty good posture. Yet I still enjoyed testing out the Backbone, and perhaps all the more so because I thought I had no need for it. It turns out that even a guy with decent posture spends a lot of time slouching, sliding down, and occasionally sagging to one side.
The Backbone is nothing more than a lightweight and readily adjustable pair of fabric straps designed to slide over your shoulders and around your back. Picture a discreet shoulder holster, except instead of a .38 revolver tucked under your arm, you have an app-enabled device a little larger than a matchbox that vibrates whenever your posture drifts into the realm of “bad”.
You set up the Backbone by first downloading its (free) app and powering the little rectangular device with a USB cable. Then you wear the brace system for a five-minute period during which you maintain your ideal good posture position, teaching the device to recognize what constitutes ideal posture for you.
And that’s pretty much all you have to do from a technical standpoint, beyond occasionally charging the thing. The Backbone brace is slender enough to be unnoticed under most garments and its vibrations are nearly silent, so no one around you will know you’re using an app-enabled wireless device to help you re-program your brain and body into permanent better posture. You can wear it under a T-shirt, dress shirt, sweater, dress, or even exercise apparel. Every time the Backbone detects that you are slouching forward, sliding down into your chair, or leaning too far to one side or the other, it vibrates gently, reminding you to sit (or stand) up straight — and have a great day! (I may be partially editorializing there, but you get the picture.)