Does Posture Training Really Work? I've Been Using the Upright Go 2 to Find Out
Like many people, my posture isn't always stellar.
I work in front of a computer all day, and then wind up slouching in front of the TV or on my phone in bed many nights, which hasn't always been conducive to keeping my spine aligned in an optimal way.
I've always wanted to correct this, but it's hard–especially when it's something I quickly forget about, falling back into old habits. For a long time, I've been curious about Upright, a brand that makes posture training devices, and I finally made the leap this year to reach out to them and see if their products might be right for me.
They very generously provided me with their newest model, the Upright Go 2, as well as an Upright Necklace, and I have to say that since I started the program, my posture hasn't been the same.
The Upright Go 2 ($99.95) is a small device, less than two inches long, that you wear on your back in order to measure and track your posture using a smart sensor. You can either attach it to your back using provided hypoallergenic adhesive sticky tabs or plug it into the Upright Necklace ($19.95), which comes in six bold colors.
The device pairs with an app, compatible with both iOS and Android, that shows you how you're doing, allows you to adjust the features of the device and provides handy tips and tricks for improving your posture.
So, why should you improve your posture? According to Upright's website, better posture decreases discomfort while sitting, as well as back pain, and establishing good posture while you're young can really pay off down the line. Plus, it can help you feel more confident. After all, good posture makes you look good, too. And, in case you're not confident about the product, it also comes with a 30-day money-back guarantee, as well as a one-year warranty.
I began my Upright Go 2 experience on May 20, beginning by downloading the app on my phone as I plugged the device in using the provided micro USB cable to charge it up. Once both of those processes were ready, I booted up the app, and pairing my Upright Go 2 with my phone was a breeze that only took about a minute.
From there, I just had to clean the area on my back where I'd be sticking the Upright Go 2 (it comes with six alcohol prep pads, in case they're needed), pull the backing off the adhesive tab that was already attached to the device and stick it to my back. It wasn't a bother at all—it didn't feel heavy or unpleasantly sticky, and from there, I simply had to push the button on it for the Upright app on my phone to find it and start monitoring my posture.
I had a lot of fun watching the little green figure on the app move along with me. When I was sat upright, so was my character, but as I bent or slumped, I could see the head of the character move as well, and past a certain point, the character would turn red, indicating that I wasn't within the right posture range.
But of course, I couldn't stare at the app all day. I decided to get back to work, and it wasn't long before the device on my back was buzzing, reminding me to correct my posture. The buzz was big enough to feel, but gentle enough not to be an annoyance, making it just right—and if you don't like the way it feels, you can adjust to different buzz patterns and strengths within the app.
This happened a couple of times throughout my first 70-minute training session, and at the end of it, I took a look at my results. According to the app, I should aim for between 70% and 95% upright. My number was 98%—a little high.
I looked around within the app to find out more about why I shouldn't be aiming to be upright 100% of the time. It explained that it might mean my posture is too stiff and that I'm not moving enough. Maybe I have an excuse, as I usually use it while I'm at the computer for long stretches of time, getting up only to stretch and take bathroom breaks—and in subsequent uses, I find that the graphs showing my "Uptime" (time in the upright posture) are in the 95% to 100% range almost every time. Oops.
(Upright via Upright Technologies Ltd.)
While the first week set my Uptime daily goal to 70 minutes per day, at the start of the third week, it increases it to 105 minutes, and then 155 minutes at the start of the fourth week. These increments seemed big at first, but soon, meeting those goals felt totally natural—I was reaching them just by going about my day. In fact, most days, I've discovered that I don't get any buzzes at all and completely forget that I'm wearing it.
Over that time, I've discovered that the battery lasts up to about 30 hours. Charging it is never much trouble because I don't use it all the time, so I can plug it in when I'm done with it one day, and it'll be fully charged when I return to it the next.
And depending on how oily your skin is, the brand says that you can get three to 10 uses out of every tab. I used my first one about eight times before I found that it was losing its stickiness. But since then, I haven't gone back. I definitely prefer the Upright Necklace over the tabs because it feels less wasteful. Plus, it means I'll never have to buy replacements once the 10 provided tabs run out—and my necklace, in the Teal Blue shade, looks pretty great, too.
To use the silicone necklace, I just have to plug the Upright Go 2 into the necklace (it plugs into the same slot as its charger) and then put it on. It clasps together at the front with magnets to make it easy to wear, and those magnets are heavy so they keep it balanced around my neck during every training session.
Over my month or so with the device, I've learned a lot about it. On the occasion that it told me I was slouching, when I was actually sitting up quite straight, I just had to recalibrate it with the push of one button to get it working properly again. There's also a feature in the app that lets you change your Upright range, and I made mine a bit more strict than the relaxed default to give myself more of a challenge. Surprise, surprise—it hasn't changed my too-high upright time percentages.
(Upright via Upright Technologies Ltd.)
Speaking of the app, it also contains a library of videos for workouts and breathing exercises, which aren't really for me, but I love that the option is there in case I change my mind. It includes yoga exercises and stretches for the upper back, core and lower body to strengthen the aspects of your body that need work, and there's even a chat system with live support in case you need it. And after all of this time with Upright, I feel a massive change in my posture—and others have noticed, too. Now that I've done so much posture training, I'll be out and about and realize I'm standing or sitting up much straighter than usual, or I'll quickly pick up on those times when it's not optimal so I can quickly adjust.
Even once my training sessions are done, I'll either notice that my posture is a lot better than usual or quickly pick up on the times when it's not optimal and quickly adjust. I feel great, too. No back pain or aches–and Upright isn't lying when they say you look better and more confident with the right posture.
If you're someone who's always struggled with posture, I can't recommend Upright's tools enough. In my experience, they work wonders, and I love the way I feel, physically and mentally, with my new and improved posture. Of course, not everyone can afford a $100 gadget for improving posture, and if you don't opt for the $20 necklace, you'll eventually be spending additional money on more adhesive tabs, so that's an added cost either way. It also won't work well for those who aren't committed—you have to remember to put on the necklace and train every day, and while you can set up in-app reminders, they're not much help if you ignore them! But for those who do strive to better their posture, Upright gets the job done organically, and what I learn just might stick with me for the rest of my life.