Back pain is the second most common reason for visits to the doctor, behind the common cold. A recent study by the British Chiropractic Association has found that 65% of under 35s have experienced back or neck issues, which prevented many of them from sleeping and exercising. The majority of these cases are triggered by poor posture as a result of carrying heavy bags, working overtime or using a laptop on the lap. Sound familiar?
LUMOback is a discrete, wearable sensor, designed by Lumo BodyTech, which is used alongside the free app to track and correct your posture. Improving your posture can have a huge positive impact on back pain, fitness, confidence and appearance!
So how does it work? Simply strap the LUMOback sensor around your lower back and ensure that the adjustable strap rests just above your hip bones. You can wear the tracker under clothes without it being visible (trust me, I got away with wearing it under a dress at work and also on a Friday night!). Once the tracker is connected by Bluetooth to your iPhone app, you'll be able to see real-time feedback in the form of a stick-man avatar on your posture and the tracker will gently vibrate whenever you begin to slouch, reminding you to correct your posture.
Additionally, the sensor will track your activity, length of time spent sitting down and even your sleep, providing you with interesting insights via the app into the position you sleep in. The tracker will give you a posture score based on how long you spend slouching or sitting correctly.
Within the app you can change the vibration settings. I had the tracker set to 'pulse' so that it would continue to vibrate until I corrected my posture. This was much to the amusement of my friends sitting next to me when we went for a meal out, they were wondering why I was 'sitting so weird' and unable to eat my dinner without the a surprised facial expression from the vibration!
Fortunately, there is a setting for 'vibrate once' for a more subtle reminder or you can turn off the vibration if you're about to go into an important meeting and don't want it to sound like you have your phone going off every few minutes! It's also worth turning it off or switching to 'buzz once' if you're a passenger in a car that you simply can't avoid slouching in as a result of how the seats are designed! The tracker does however seem to know when you're in the driver's seat so that you aren't distracted by vibrations when driving (phew!).
After just a few hours of wearing the tracker it felt like I'd been in yoga class all day as my back was satisfyingly stretched out.
The device itself is comfortable to wear, easy to use and has a good battery life (it's charged via a usb cable). There's no flashing lights on the slimline device or anything like that, so you can easily wear it under your clothes without any tell-tale signs... though of course, it does prove an amusing conversation topic and might result in all of your colleagues feeling a little more conscious about their posture and then trying to sit up straight alongside you!
Personally, I think people look more confident and engaged when sitting correctly. Good posture is essential for getting the most out of your workouts, particularly for weight lifting and yoga (my favourites!). I've always been quite cautious about back and neck damage since a motorbike accident a few years ago left me with chronic neck pain and hindered my abdominal workouts for ages until I finally built my strength up again. I'd recommend the LUMOback for anyone with similar concerns or a job like mine that entails a lot of sitting around and leaning over a desk.
Compatibility, Price and availability:
The LUMOback device is currently compatible with Apple iPhone 5S, 5C, 5, 4S, iPad
(3rd and 4th gen), iPad Mini and iPod touch
(5th gen). Users can download the app for free from the Apple App
Store and purchase the LUMOback Smart Movement and Feedback System from Apple
available now for £129.95 from Apple Stores. For further information visit www.lumoback.com.
I received a free sample of the product for the purpose of review but was not compensated in any other way. As always, opinions are my own!
LUMOback: The Wearable Posture and Activity Coach
Saturday, 23 November 2013
Posted by Karen Oliver at 10:52:00
Since the 11th of May 2011, I have gone from being obese to healthy, rescued myself from diabetes and hypertension and taught myself how to cook along the way. I've gone from being the teen that bunked off PE lessons, to the adult whose hobbies include lifting weights, yoga, dance and mixed martial arts.
My main rule is to live a lifestyle that's fad-free! I encourage everyone to stay well away from faddy diets that could potentially cause more health problems than they solve.
It's all about creating a sustainable, enjoyable lifestyle change.