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Stick This Tiny Device To Your Back To Stop Slouching

How's your posture right now? We'll bet that the moment you saw this headline, you probably sat up straight. We'll also bet that you won't be able to stay that way until the end of the article. Most of us know we should sit up straight, but it can be tiring and hard to remember to do. Enter the Upright, a little wearable device that can train you to sit up straight all on your own.

The Importance of Posture

Sitting up straight is about more than just looking confident. Bad posture can lead to all sorts of issues, from a lack of energy to permanent back problems. A 2006 study found that people who sit with a "flexed posture"—that is, bent forward—experienced more back pain than other participants. And according to the New York Times, the effects of bad posture can "radiate throughout the body, causing back and neck pain, muscle fatigue, breathing limitations, arthritic joints, digestive problems and mood disturbances."

How The Device Works

The Upright is a white silicone stick measuring about 4 inches (11 centimeters) long that's equipped with an accelerometer and a strain sensor. You stick it to your upper or lower back, pair it with an app on your smartphone, then calibrate it to determine your ideal posture. Once it's calibrated, the device combines data from the accelerometer and strain sensor to identify the moments you're slouching, and vibrates to remind you to sit up straight.

This might sound kind of annoying to wear all day, but there's good news: you don't have to. The company claims you can wear it for as little as 15 minutes a day to train your back muscles for better posture, though the app generates a training schedule that gradually increases your daily wear from five minutes up to an hour per day. There are other devices out there that remind you not to slouch, so what makes this one special? According to New Atlas, one unique benefit is "its slim design, which allows the 30 g (1.1 oz) device to be comfortably worn underneath your clothes."

If you'd like to learn more about how you can improve your posture, check out  "Exercises for Perfect Posture: The Stand Tall Program for Better Health Through Good Posture" by William Smith, Keith Burns, and Christopher Volgraf. We handpick reading recommendations we think you may like. If you choose to make a purchase through that link, Curiosity will get a share of the sale.

Written by Curiosity Staff February 6, 2017

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