When posture goes awry, we can support it in a variety of ways. One common method of correcting posture is the use of a brace. Braces can provide the support we need to ensure we can function fully.
Braces, however, are not the only products available to improve posture. Here are some alternative options which can help you stand up straight.
Benefits of good posture
Good posture benefits each person for their entire life. Maintaining proper posture prevents both muscular pain and backache. It lowers muscle fatigue because it allows the muscles to be used more efficiently.
Joint surfaces and ligaments will be less stressed and will avoid abnormal wear on the joints, lowering the chances of arthritis. Good posture also promotes better breathing because the lungs are more open.
Products for the office
Many of us spend our days sitting down at our office desks. Since much of our time is spent sitting, we should ensure our posture does not suffer. Active sitting is the answer for posture improvement while sitting at a desk.
The GAIAM Balance Ball chair combines the principles of yoga and active sitting which allow you to sit all day comfortably. Because active sitting requires the body to make constant fine movements to keep upright, it naturally leads the pelvis and back to assume proper alignment.
QOR360 makes several ergonomic active-sitting chairs. One of their products, the “Cary,” is a seat which can be placed on a standard office chair. Their eccentric bicylinder technology will ensure your body actively sits, and the Cary is easily portable—you can bring it with you wherever you go.
For less expensive portability, the Backjoy posture seats may be ideal for you. The SitSmart Relief seat tilts the hips forward, making sure your spine floats over the seat. The spine retains its proper curve, without strain either at the shoulders or lower back.
The Plexus Wheel, which comes in three sizes, works while sitting. Placed between the human back and seat back, it provides support and deep tissue pressure. It is an easily transportable device which provides the benefits of active sitting as well as posture support.
Products for living
Some people might enjoy a high-tech product to help the posture. Upright Technologies makes two “Posture Trainers.” The Upright Go works with the lower back, while the Upright Pro works with both the lower and upper back. It has a Bluetooth connection with your smartphone and vibrates when you slouch. The intent is to create muscle memory, so the muscles won’t slip back into slouching.
The LumoLift is another Bluetooth/smartphone device which connects to your clothes. You get into your best posture and set the device. It will lightly vibrate when you slouch. It works with an app on your smartphone to track posture and goals, as well as calories burned, distance walked, and steps taken. It also maintains a history allowing you to keep track of your posture improvement.
Products for anywhere
Brookstone’s BackTone may look like a brace in some ways, but it works more as a trainer. Wear it over clothing, like a backpack, for 20 minutes at a time. When you slouch, the device vibrates (or sounds a buzzer), which stops only when you’ve straightened up. After using it for several weeks at 20 minutes per day, you should find you’re sitting up correctly as you read or work.
The PostureWedge works to solve problems caused by leaning forward. Lie down with your neck in the wedge’s groove, and the flat edge on your shoulders. The wedge will help ease your neck back into proper alignment.
A more active device is the Posture Pump. The Posture Pump focuses on the discs between the bones of the spinal column. Through gentle motion of the targeted area, the spine is massaged and gently stretched, allowing lubricating fluids to return to the the discs. When they are well-hydrated and supple, they can help support posture. Posture Pump comes in several models targeting the neck, back, and full spine.
Several types of clothing can support posture. Intelliskin has a line of clothing which helps develop and strengthen posture. The Men’s Hip Alignment shorts will help loosen the hip which is tighter. It develops hip extension. The Women’s Foundation shirts support the upper body, but allow full movement for an active life.
Products for sleeping
Between sitting and sleeping, our posture is endangered for most of the day. Choosing smart sleep products can help preserve posture.
The Purple Pillow helps support the head and neck, allowing full alignment. The Hyper-Elastic polymer releases pressure where it needs to while providing support in other locations. It sleeps cool because the material breathes, but it helps the neck relax with good support.
If you are truly in search of a sleeping solution for bad posture and all the aches and pains which come with it, you might want to consider the LevelSleep TriSupport Mattress. While expensive—the Queen size version is $1,899 plus shipping—the mattress’s design focuses on spine alignment and therefore posture. It has three zones of firmness.
The top supports the shoulders with medium firm foam, while the middle portion provides firm support for the lumbar region. The bottom half of the mattress is soft, allowing the hips to sink. Pressure is even over the whole body, and the spine remains aligned, whether you’re a back or side sleeper.
Alternatives to the brace
You can work on your posture in a variety of ways other than the brace. The brace, of course, is a useful corrector for bad posture, but many of these devices will work with the use of a brace to help you make good posture automatic.
I plan on testing every posture corrector you can buy including braces, posture solutions at a computer, posture chairs, and smart posture devices. I blog about the products here. Drop me a line anytime for questions and I'll try to help!
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