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3.75 Star Rating

Backtone Product Overview

Introduction

backtone2In a world where traditional posture supports once ruled, bio-feedback posture trainers such as the Backtone are quickly becoming a preferred method of correcting poor posture.

In the past, I have reviewed products such as the Lumo Lift, Spidermed, as well as the Iposture. What one characteristic do all of these products have in common? Instead of completely supporting your posture, these devices allow you to move about freely as they continuously monitor your posture. Whenever your posture begins to fail, they immediately alert you with either an audible alarm or vibration. Once the alert is felt or heard, you are then able to voluntarily correct your posture. Some products such as the Lumo Lift use software and complex algorithms to provide feedback on your posture throughout the day.

The Backtone has been around for well over a decade (2002) yet did not capture my attention until several months ago when I was researching posture trainers.

The Inventor

backtoneinventor

Lorraine Josey, Inventor of the Backtone

Lorraine Josey, a seasoned occupational therapist from the Queensland Australia area developed the Backtone Posture Trainer. The prototype of this product was created using a Tic Tac box and the inner workings of a singing birthday card. The Tic Tac box housed the electronic components of the birthday card which were attached to a series of straps. When these straps were pulled, this action would activate the electronic component and it would begin to “sing”. This device was secured to her patients in such a way that it would activate whenever they slouched. The prototype was further developed and the Backtone was eventually born. It’s currently sold worldwide in several countries including the US, Australia, and Turkey.

Description

Three main components make up the Backtone including the main body, waist belt, and two shoulder harnesses.

  • Main body: The main body is fairly small in size and performs several functions. Inside, there’s a module that contains a switch device, speaker, vibrator as well as all of the electronic components to make it all work. This component also serves as an attachment point between the shoulder straps and waist strap
  • Waist Strap: This strap is made from an adjustable light weight webbing and snaps together using a buckle at the front. It attaches to the shoulder straps and main body and is used to hold the device in place.
  • Shoulder straps: These are also made from a light weight webbing and wrap under the arms, over the shoulders, and attach to a single adjustable strap which ultimately attaches to the main body. Each shoulder strap can be adjusted individually as can the single strap that connects to the body.

Before using the Backtone you must properly fit the device. This starts by first completely loosening the shoulder straps so that they are fully extended. Next, wrap the waist band around your lower waist and secure at the front while placing the shoulder straps over your shoulders and allowing to hang loosely. You will most likely have to make some adjustments to the belt in order to achieve a proper fit. The goal here is to secure the belt around your waist so that it’s unable to slide up your waist without over-tightening it.

Once the waist band has been secured, sit up straight and tighten down on the shoulder straps until the slack is eliminated. You will want to adjust it so that as you begin to slouch it activates the alarm. Too tight and it will continuously remain activated. Too loose and it will not activate as you slouch. You might have to shorten the center strap if the alarm continuously activates.

How is it used?

howitsusedThe manufacturer recommends using their device one to two times per day for 20 minutes. They suggest that it takes about 3 weeks to change poor posture habits so you shouldn’t anticipate any immediate, long-term results.

Once the device has been fitted properly, it will alert you whenever your posture begins to suffer. Once the poor posture is corrected, the alert will stop on its own. With their latest model, the Backtone 4000, you can choose either an audible alarm or an optional vibration mode which will trigger a 5 second vibration whenever you begin to slouch.

The Backtone can be used while performing a variety of everyday tasks but may need to be adjusted accordingly.

It should be only be used a few minutes each day to help retrain your posture by forming better habits. This device is a coach that helps to retrain your posture by reminding you how to use good posture.

When using this device, it’s important to keep in mind that poor posture does not occur overnight so correcting it may take several weeks. The goal is to retrain yourself to recognize good posture and develop the habit of using good posture on a regular basis. Over time, good posture habits will replace poor ones and you should be able to continue using good posture, even while not using this product. You will have to work on your posture habits which will require some degree of commitment and effort.

Price and Available Sizes

cost4How much should you pay for the Backtone? If you are a US resident, you can not purchase this product directly from the manufacturer. Instead, you must purchase it through their recommended distributor. The total price is $89.95 with free shipping and handling. The cost is slightly higher than similar style posture trainers that are available.

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This trainer can be purchased in three different sizes, small, medium, and large. The small size should fit waist sizes 20″-34″, medium 24″-39″ and large up to 52″. Adjustments can be made on all three sizes to fit your individual needs. Just be sure to choose one with a size range that will accommodate your waist size.

Product Recommendation

yesno1The Backtone has several desirable features that makes it stand out as well as a couple of undesirable features.

First, it’s well designed and is made from durable nylon strapping material. Because of this, it should endure many years of use before having to be replaced.

Being a posture trainer and not a brace, it actually helps to retrain your posture and does not necessarily become a product that you will have to rely on every day indefinitely. When practicing bad posture over a period of time, we actually end up developing poor posture. Fortunately, with a helpful reminder we are able to break the habit of poor posture by becoming more aware of how to sit or stand each day. The Backtone effectively reminds us of what using good posture should feel like.

Perhaps the biggest drawback of this product is the need for frequent battery replacement.  If placed in audio alert mode, the battery should last for a very long time. However, when switched over to silent mode, the vibration will likely wear the battery down fairly quickly. It uses a 3 volt coin cell lithium ion battery (CR1225) which can be purchased for around $3 each. While the battery cost is not terribly expensive, the reoccurring cost of having to replace it several times can really add up.

Another downfall is the primitive technology used by this device. As we all know, computer technology has revolutionized the way live in so many ways and posture trainers have evolved in recent years. Other posture trainers such as the Lumo Lift are no larger than a couple of quarters in size and clip onto your shirt. They perform the same functions as the Backtone with several additional benefits. The Lumo Lift has a small sensor which can detect the position of your back and shoulders. It then uses an algorithm to determine when you are slouching. It collects information about your posture and syncs wirelessly to your smartphone or computer using Bluetooth technology. You can then use this information to track your progress. It even counts steps and calories for you. Best of all, at $79.95, it’s actually less expensive than the Backtone.

So would I recommend this product? The concept behind the Backtone is superior to any standard posture support. Retraining poor posture is ideal and the Backtone will get the job done without any issues.

However, when it comes to value, higher-tech posture trainers with more features are available at a lower cost. If you are not necessarily interested in taking advantage of the smartphone tracking features and don’t mind paying a little extra then this product wouldn’t be a bad choice.

Pros vs Cons

plus

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Pros:

  • Durable, long lasting
  • Occupational therapist designed
  • Available in 3 sizes and adjustable
  • Coaches you to better posture
  • Optional vibration alert
  • Offers long lasting results

minus

Cons:

  • Batteries must be replaced
  • Better technology available for the price
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3.75 Star Rating

About the Posture Perfect Band

posture perfectThe Posture Perfect Band is manufactured by Underworks, a Miami Florida based company that sells post-surgical garments for both men and women. It is one of three different posture products sold by the company which can be purchased directly from the company website or from Amazon. In addition to posture related products, the company sells a wide variety of compression fitted garments including girdles, shirts, bodysuits, vests, swimwear, briefs, and several other products.

Today, there are over a dozen different styles of posture supports to choose from produced from a seemingly endless number of manufacturers. The Posture Perfect Band can be classified as a figure-8 clavicle brace due to its design. The support fits around the shoulders and attaches at the rear using a hook and eye fastening system.

Product Design

The support is made from a spandex and polyester material and is made in the USA. Its design is simple and offers a no-frills solution to bad posture.

This product is essentially two infinity loops that fit around each shoulder and join together at the rear center of the back, between the shoulder blades. The width of the support can be adjusted by using the six way hook and eye system in which a series of small metal hooks lock into a series of metal eyes on the corresponding side of the brace. As a result, adjustments can be made to achieve a more comfortable fit.

This is an elastic type support that pulls back on your shoulders and helps to keep you sitting upright and not slouching. Most similarly styled figure eight supports offer this type of “shoulders back” action.

As for color and sizing options, only one is offered. The Posture Perfect comes in the color white and is a one size fits most product, meaning that if you are of average size, this product should fit. It is unisex, making it suitable for both men and women.

How does it work?

how worksThe principles behind the Posture Perfect as well as any other clavicle brace is fairly simple. When properly fitted, the elastic nature of the support helps to pull the shoulders back and down while still allowing a full range of motion. The elastic tension serves as a constant reminder to sit up straight with your chin up and shoulders back.

It’s important to remember to limit the amount of time that you wear any such support. Prolonged long-term use may actually weaken the muscles that are associated with maintaining proper posture. This can occur because these muscles are not being exercised and used. As a result of not being used, they can become lazy and dependent upon the support that has been provided by the brace. In other words, if you don’t use your muscles, you lose them.

While Underworks doesn’t offer any specifics when it comes to the duration of wear, other manufacturers suggest wearing such braces for about an hour each day to help retrain your posture. The benefits of this support can often be felt on the first day, however, a permanent, long-term change in posture may take several weeks to achieve.

As with any other support, correcting poor posture involves more than just wearing a support. You must become more aware of your posture and sit up while seated or standing. Perhaps one of the most beneficial steps that can be taken is to stretch and exercise your postural muscles. Exercise combined with short training sessions using a proper support will provide the most benefit while trying to correct a poor posture issue.

Pricing

moneyPerhaps one of the most appealing attributes of this product is its price. Currently, it sells for $6.99 plus $6.50 shipping and handling, bringing the total cost to just under $14. When purchasing directly from the Underworks website, you are able to receive a small discount if you were to purchase three or more supports. Compared to the industry average, the Posture Perfect is priced significantly lower than nearly all of its competition. Similarly styled products often sell for $30-$40 including shipping.

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Underworks also sells a men’s posture shirt as well as a women’s posture trainer and corrector. These products sell for $28 and $20 respectively.

User reviews

review2While there are not very many reviews available on the companies website, over 250 reviews of this product can be found by visiting their Amazon listing. Unfortunately, the majority of buyers have rated this product with one to two stars. After reading through the comments, there seems to be a few complaints that were commonly cited.

One of the most common complains had to do with comfort and sizing. Several who have tried this product claim that it’s too tight and may even cut off circulation to the arms, causing them to go numb. Some claim that the bands are tight and dig into the skin, causing irritation. Furthermore, others complain that this product has a tendency to migrate out of place while worn.

Those who were satisfied with their purchase believe that the support has helped to correct their poor posture and at under $14, it’s a great value. Several reviewers were also pleased with the fact that it could be easily concealed. Most agree that this support is most effective and comfortable when worn over a t-shirt.

Overall satisfaction based on Amazon customer feedback appears to be fairly low. It’s important to keep in mind that such feedback is not always 100% accurate as just about anyone, including unverified purchasers, can leave such feedback. This opens the door to the possibility of falsified feedback. In other words, such reviews should be taken with a grain of salt, especially if they are coming from an unverified purchaser.

Is it detectable under clothing?

A major concern that many express when searching for a posture support is whether or not the one that they are interested in can be concealed. After all, who wants to spend their day receiving strange looks and explaining to everyone exactly what they are wearing?

The Posture Perfect is compact and lightweight, making it perhaps one of the easiest products to conceal underneath a shirt or dress. This is one of the best selling points of this products and is something that should be taken into consideration when making a decision.

Recommendation

yesnoAs with all other posture supports, this product does have its issues. The most common issue seemed to be directly related to sizing. It’s difficult to imagine that such a style of brace would fit all sizes, from X small to XXX large. Perhaps this is why the manufacturer advises that it’s a one size fits most and not all. It would be helpful if the manufacturer specifies the exact body size and shape that this product will fit to avoid issues with those who are of smaller or larger size.

Underworks could solve this issue by offering multiple sizes that can be adjusted, this may reduce the number of complaints concerning comfort and sizing.

By design, this product appears to function just as any other figure eight brace, therefore it could potentially be a value leader in this classification of posture supports.

For those who are on a budget, this product may be worth a try, especially if your posture issues are mild in nature and you are of average size. This simple $14 product might be all that is needed.

Others who are able to invest a little more in a posture support may want to consider something in the $50-$100 range, one that has been scientifically proven to improve posture and may be a bit more comfortable to wear. There are numerous products from shirts and braces to electronic sensors that monitor posture and provide real time feedback. You can find a comprehensive list of available products here.

When choosing a posture support, several factors should be considered including effectiveness, comfort, ability to conceal, price and value. While many found this product to lack in the area of comfort and effectiveness, others were attracted to the Posture Perfect’s ability to conceal and the lower than average price which can provide value. However, great value is of little use if you are one of those who will not fit into the support.

lowcostIn other words, it’s a budget friendly choice that may be worth a try. You could always return it, however, with such a low price point, it may not be worth paying return shipping.

The company also sells two additional (more expensive) posture correctors as mentioned earlier. These products may provide a more comfortable experience for those who are concerned about the tight fitting nature of the Posture Perfect.

As with any product that’s designed to correct poor posture, it’s recommended that in addition to periodically wearing a support, you should also perform various exercises to help strengthen your posture. Also, becoming more conscience of your posture while sitting or standing is key to seeing results. The right support, exercise, and a better postural awareness are key components to improving poor posture.

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3.75 Star Rating

Product Information

pcbThe Posture Corrective Brace is sold by Footsmart, a Norcross, Georgia company who as their name implies, specializes primarily in socks, shoes, and other footwear products. Footsmart was founded in 1989 and employs over 300 people. While their product line seems to focus around foot and lower body health care, they do sell a small variety of other unrelated healthcare products such as their posture brace.

Their posture brace appears to be a private label product that is sold direct to consumer on their website and also through an Amazon store. Based on user feedback, this support appears to be a fairly popular choice when it comes to supports for postural disturbances.

The Anatomy of the Brace

This product, like many others used for the same purpose, utilizes a series of straps to help hold the shoulders back and into the proper position.

It’s an imported product that is made from 60% polyester, 17% rubber, 15% nylon, and 8% cotton and does contain latex.

The main body is made from a terry cloth material and has three belt loops sewn into the lower outer facing portion. The upper portion has two rigid shoulder straps sewn on at about a 45 degree angle. When worn, these shoulder straps pass over top of each shoulder, underneath each armpit, through the three belt loops at the rear and then back around to the front where they meet and attach together using a velcro hook and hoop material.

The straps are tightened to the desired tension and then secured to each other. For a cleaner look, the manufacturer suggest cutting off any excess strapping material using a pair of scissors.

How is it used?

howitsusedThose who have never worn a posture support may believe that it that should be worn for several hours each day. Some even try to sleep in their support. However, there is a method when it comes to wearing this support or any other.

First, understand that posture supports are not designed to be slept in. Doing so can do more harm than good.

Before using, it’s important to achieve a proper fit. Start by putting on the support and sitting up in the good posture position. Adjust the shoulder straps until the shoulders are supported while preventing you from slouching forward while relaxed. The idea is to provide support and a suggestive reminder whenever your posture begins to fail. Avoid over-tightening which will cause excessive tension, holding the shoulders back in an unnatural position.

Once you have achieved a proper fit, it’s a good idea to gradually ease your way into wearing a support by putting it on for a few minutes each day. Once acclimated, wear it as a training tool for about an hour or so each day. Wearing a posture support for an extended period of time is never idea. It should only be used as a training tool to help retrain you posture to normalcy. Long term use can actually cause your muscles to become weaker, further compounding the problem. Be sure to first speak with you physicians concerning your individual needs.

Poor posture is a learned habit and because bad habits are often difficult to break, it’s unlikely that you will see long lasting results until after 3-4 weeks of training.

In addition to using a support, exercises to strengthen your posture plays a key role in restoring proper posture. There are a lot of simple exercises that can be preformed at home, with or without equipment. An inexpensive piece of resistance band exercise equipment can be quite helpful when preforming these exercises. Less than five minutes of exercise per day three to four days a week will help out tremendously.

Also, becoming more conscious of your posture will help to keep you sitting up straight all day long. Make it a point to occasionally ask yourself if you are using good posture and if not, take corrective action. There are actually electronic monitors such as the Lumo Lift which help to remind you whenever slouching becomes and issue.

Sizing & Color Options

optionsTo simplify matters, FootSmart only offers this support in one size which should fit most people with a chest size of between 22″ and 46″. Remember, when measuring your chest size, go around the back and under the armpits using a flexible tape measure. Ensure that the tape is straight all the way around. If your chest measurements fall within range, you are unlikely to have any issues fitting into this brace. If you are significantly smaller or significantly larger in size, it’s best to look elsewhere as this product will probably not work very well.

As for color, it’s offered in both white and beige. Note, the white may have a beige body with white straps.

How much is it?

cost4There are two websites where you can buy this support, directly from the Footsmart or from Amazon.

When purchased from their website, the price is $29.99. However, you must also pay about $9.00 in shipping as well as approximately $2.00 in sales tax, bringing the total to around $41.00.

Alternatively, you can save $6.00 by purchasing it from Amazon instead. They currently have it listed for $34.79 with free shipping.  At $35, it’s one of the least expensive options available.

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Can it be hidden underneath clothing?

For most who are considering a support, one of the most popular questions is whether or not it can be hidden underneath their clothing. Due to the nature of the support, the body area where the straps run across is fairly thick. The straps are also a bit meaty and will show underneath clothing.

In general, as long you wear looser fitting clothing, the outline will not be incredibly obvious but with tighter fitting clothing the outline will be noticeable. During the winter months while wearing heavier clothing, this will not be an issue. In the summer however, it’s a factor that should be taken into consideration.

What are their customers saying?

yesnoWhile looking at user feedback on their website and from Amazon, we are able to get a good idea when it comes to the effectiveness and quality of this product.

Fifty-two percent of those who have tried this product have left a feedback rating of three stars or less. The primary complaint has to do with the design and level of comfort.

Several complained that the straps were uncomfortable and would cut off circulation under the arms, causing them to go numb. Others complained that the straps would dig into their armpits and cause a rash. It was frequently mentioned that an undershirt was necessary while wearing this support.

Others had vocalized a positive experience while using this product.

Final thoughts and recommendation

recommend3After closely examining the Footsmart Brace, it’s evident that this product has a design flaw which effects both comfort and performance as described by those who have used it.

As it’s currently designed, each shoulder strap also functions as a chest strap. As a result, it’s necessary to tighten down on the chest straps in order to provide a small amount of tension to hold the shoulder back and into position. Doing so will of course make the straps tight in the chest area.  A design that separates the chest straps from the shoulder straps would prevent this from occurring.

While the price seems fairly reasonable, purchasing it for the purpose of correcting poor posture is not going to solve your posture issues.

There are some alternatives available that are designed better. Here is a comparison of over 25 different ones to choose from. There are a couple different ones that are in about the same price range that are better designed.

After testing and reviewing several different products, it has become clear that while traditional posture supports do still work, newer technology has really revolutionized our ability to correct poor posture. Among the newer solution are electronic monitoring devices such as the Lumo Lift. Such products actually monitor your posture and send out an alert whenever your posture begins to suffer.

Other product such as posture shirts can be completely concealed under your clothing and achieve great results.

Whether you choose an electronic monitoring device, posture shirt, or simply a different posture brace, achieving better posture is going to require a bit of time and commitment.

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3.75 Star Rating

Introduction

Prolite deluxeThe Pro-Lite Deluxe clavicle support by FLA is a figure-eight style brace that can be used to assist with sprains, shoulder instability, clavicle fractures, and fibromyalgia. This product is actually manufactured by BSN medical and sold by FLA.

During this review, we will be discussing the use of this product as it relates to correcting rounded shoulders and neck forward posture.

With today’s modern western lifestyle involving very little physical activity and sitting still most of the day, it is estimated that up to 90% of Americans use head forward posture, causing excessive stress to the neck and shoulders. The Prolite Deluxe helps to correct the common issue of poor posture. Ultimately, the goal is to relieve the excessive strain by forming better posture habits.

Figure-eight supports such as the ProLite have been around for decades and there is good reason for this. They are inexpensive, effective, and have helped people of all ages achieve better posture.

They work by providing support to the shoulders which helps to keep your shoulders back and prevents head forward posture.

Such supports should be used as a coaching tool and not necessarily worn all day long over a long period of time. Most physicians recommend wearing a clavicle brace for about an hour each day which will help you relearn what good posture should feel like.

ProLite Description

infoThe design of the Prolite is not necessarily innovative but is actually quite basic.

At the center of the brace is a large hard plastic ring which serves as an attachment point for the shoulder straps. Two padded shoulder straps attach at the top of the ring and wrap over top of each shoulder before once again joining the ring at the center of the back.

Each shoulder strap incorporates a velcro adjustment which allows for an inch or so adjustment. The velcro attaches to the shoulder strapping material.

As for quality, the Prolite seems to be made incredibly well considering it’s low price. In fact, several buyers have commented on the better than expected quality.

The most notable feature of this support is it’s rigid design. Some products offer some degree of flexibility while others do not. Whether or not you choose a ridged support is a matter of personal preference. For instance, a non-flexible design might be ideal for an office worker who remains in a fixed position for an extended period of time. Likewise, someone who plans to use this support while moving about might find a ridged design to be to restrictive.

Another notable feature is the padded design of this product. While the thick material may cause excessive sweating, especially in warmer climates, the padded material will quickly absorb and wick away moisture.

Size and Color Options

FLA Orthopedics only offers this clavicle support in the color navy blue and does not currently sell it in white or any other color.

It is sold in five different sizes ranging from x-small to x-large. FLA recommends purchasing the next size up if your measurements fall on the upper end of the provided dimensions. This is because they tend to run a bit on the smaller side and a snug.  You want them to be snug, but not too tight in order to achieve results. Remember to measure the circumference around your chest and under the arm pits.

The following should give you an idea of what size to purchase.

  • 19.75″-25.5″ X-Small
  • 25.5″-31.5″ Small
  • 31.5″-37.38″ Medium
  • 37″-42.25″ Large
  • 43.25″-49.25″ X-large

Pricing

costOne of the more appealing aspects of the ProLite is its price. FLA doesn’t sell this product directly to the consumer on their website. Instead, they rely on a number of retailers in both brick and mortar locations as well as online.

Because they are sold at the retail level through many different sellers, the price is going to vary slightly. On average, this price of this product should be  somewhere in the $24-$30 range. In comparison to other posture supports, this one is priced significantly lower.

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Can it be concealed?

The Prolite is concealable to some degree. The dark blue color and thickness of the straps are two factors that will determine the degree in which it can be concealed.

Naturally, a dark colored brace underneath a light color shirt will reveal itself so you may be limited to the color of clothing that you are able to wear with this support.

Also, straps are padded and are about 1/4″ thick. Take this into consideration when wearing clothing that is tight fitting in nature.

In other words, it should conceal well under darker colored, loose fitting clothing. Wearing lighter colored, tight fitting clothing will likely cause the ProLite to be revealing.

Can I sleep in it?

You may be wondering if you can or should wear this support while asleep.  It is uncommon and most experts will agree that wearing this support or any other while asleep is never a good idea. Such supports should only be worn while awake and for a limited period of time. Wearing for a prolonged period of time can actually cause posture to worsen.

What’s being said about the ProLite?

reviewMixed reviews online give us some insight into this product. In general, most who have tried it are fairly satisfied with their purchase. Others however have expressed discontent with their purchase.

One common complaint has to do with the overall design of the product. Since it’s snug fitting and wraps under the shoulder, several have complained that the tight fitting nature of the shoulder straps cuts off circulation under the armpit, resulting in numbness of the arms.

Others complain that wearing this product is uncomfortable. Unfortunately, this is a common complaint for anyone who is not accustomed to wearing a brace and has bad posture. When using this support or any one that is similar in style, your body is going to ache for the first week or two as you become accustomed to wearing one. Over time, your postural muscles will strengthen and the discomfort will subside.

Recommendation

okayFor years, figure-8 braces such as the ProLite have been the standard when it comes to posture braces. They are inexpensive and can be effective if you were to stick with using one. The ProLite is basic and inexpensive although there are concerns when it comes to it causing numbness in the arms.

In recent years several new posture improving products have entered the market and have drawn a lot of attention. Among these are posture t-shirts and electronic posture trainers.

Posture shirts such as the Alignmed Posture Shirt have revolutionized the way that we correct poor posture. Instead of a rigid brace, these shirts are made from a spandex type material and have elastic bands which help to activate muscle movement and correct poor posture. Such shirts are clinically proven to improve posture and do not restrict movement as traditional supports do. They are worn like a t-shirt and are generally machine washable.

One downside is that they are usually a bit more expensive than a standard clavicle brace.

Electronic coaches such as the Lumo Lift are also relatively new and a great alternative to a standard brace. This particular product attaches to your clothing and senses the movement of your upper body. When ever you begin to slouch, the sensor detects your body postion and sends out a gentle vibration to remind you to pull your shoulders back and resume good posture. This particular product allows you to sync the sensor to your smart phone and will record your posture throughout the day and will even provide real time feedback on your phone.

Posture trainers such as the Lumo Lift are easy to use and do not restrict movement. They allow you to be in control while correcting your posture.  Once again, they are usually more expensive than a standard brace.

If you are not interested in spending more than $30 on a solution for your posture and are okay with wearing a rigid support then the ProLite may be a good choice.

For others who are able to spend a few more dollars and are interested in a more innovative and arguably better solution, a posture shirt or electronic trainer may be the better option.

Whether you choose this product or any other, it’s equally important to incorporate exercises designed to strengthen your posture into your weekly routine. Poor posture is caused be the habit of sitting and standing improperly for many years. Correcting it will require strengthening muscles that have become weakened over the years as well as becoming more aware of your posture by using a support or training device.

Over time, with commitment your great posture will slowly return to normal which will benefit your health in several ways.

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Pros V Cons

Prosplus

  • Padded straps can be comfortable
  • Simple and effective
  • Relatively inexpensive
  • Durable
  • Available in 5 sizes
  • Can be concealed under dark, lose fitting clothing

minusCons

  • May cut off circulation under arms
  • Difficult to conceal under tight fitting or light colored clothing
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4 Star Rating

Product information

A few years ago, I recall coming across a KickStarter campaign that was created for a new wearable electronic device that could sync to your smart phone and allow you to monitor your posture and level of activity. The device was called the LUMOback and it was the vision of three Stanford University graduates – a physician, an engineer, and an entrepreneur.

Five months after the launch of their original Kickstarter campaign, the trio had doubled their initial funding goal of $100k just as they were ready to ship out their first batch of LUMObacks.

It wasn’t long before the company decided to come out with a more compact version of the LUMOback called the LumoLift which eventually became their primary focus and seemed to serve as a replacement for the LUMOback.

Looking at the companies website, it seems as if refurbished LumoBacks are still available although it doesn’t appear as if they are still manufacturing new devices.

How is it used?

howIf you have been following along over the past year, you may have noticed that I have reviewed several posture braces and trainers before getting around to testing the Lumo Lift. Thus far, all products that I have tried have been fairly low-tech in comparison to this device.

Unlike braces or trainers, the Lumo Lift does not forcibly hold your shoulders back to achieve good posture. Instead, it continuously monitors your posture using a small discrete sensor that is worn on your shirt near your collar bone.  The sensor is calibrated by double clicking on it while sitting up straight and using good posture. Calibrating the sensor establishes a baseline that is then used by the device to judge your posture. The sensor then detects forward, backward, or sideways movement and then uses an algorithm to determine if poor posture is being used.

There are 3 ways that you can use the Lumo Lift to help retrain your posture. Ultimately, the goal is to become more aware of your posture and strengthen your postural muscles by using them correctly on a daily basis. After all, posture is a learned habit that can be modified by simply changing our behavior.

  1. Coaching  (most aggressive)- While in coaching mode, the sensor will create an instantaneous vibration as soon as you begin to use bad posture. You have the option to turn this mode on or off by simply pressing and holding the sensor for three seconds.
  2. Posture Alert (less aggressive)- An alternative to coaching is the Posture Alert mode. The primary difference between the two modes is the response time of the sensor. Unlike the coaching mode which sends out an immediate reminder when bad posture is being used, you are able to specify a length of time between one and thirty minutes of poor posture before the alert is activated. You can also specify a session start and end time. This option is a great choice if you prefer a delayed alert rather than an immediate one.
  3. Monitoring (least aggressive)-  As a third option, simply wear the sensor throughout the day while remaining mindful of your posture. At the end of each day, check the app and review the data that was collected throughout the day to see how well you preformed.  Use the app to view an hourly breakdown of your posture which can be compared from one day to the next. This information can be used to identify periods of poor posture as well as track your overall progress.

You can use any combination of the mentioned modes to fit your needs. A good strategy may be to start by using the posture alert set at 1-2 minutes or more and then gradually work your way down to the coaching mode as your posture improves.  Keep in mind, you can always use the device in coaching mode without having to sync to a smartphone.

UPDATE: Lumo has recently announced that they have combine the coaching and alert feature into one, allowing you to simply set the time delay before being alerted. To emulate coaching mode, you can set the delay for 3 seconds. Set the delay to 1 minute or more to emulate posture alert mode. Currently, this feature is only available to iOS users.

Pricing and Guarantee

PriceThe Lumo Lift currently sells for $79.95 with free shipping. If you need a dongle for your PC, these sell for an additional $19.99 or the two can be purchased as a package for $94.99, a savings of $5.00. The company does offer an overnight or two day shipping option for an additional charge.

It comes with a 31 day money back guarantee and 366 day warranty.

According to the manufacturer’s website, they will accept your return within 30 days of the ship date for any reason.  The company will refund the entire purchase price minus any shipping and handling which of course should not apply because they are currently offering free shipping.

As for comparing the cost of the Lumo Lift to similar products, it’s difficult to make a comparison because it’s such a unique product. Traditional posture braces often sell for $50-$70 and the Lumo Lift sells for $79. While a bit more expensive, this product offers several features that a traditional posture brace does not.

Where’s the Android App?

droidAt the time of its release, 80% of smartphone users were running an Android operating system while only 15% were using iOS. Perhaps the company assumed that most techies who were going to be the first to try their device owned at least an iPhone, iPad, or iPod. Surely this couldn’t possibly be the answer and naturally, I had to satisfy my desire to get to the bottom of this matter which led me to do a little research.

So exactly why is the Android App not available for the Lumo Lift? A blog post from Lumo BodyTech dated June 9, 2014 should help to shed some light on this question.

In the blog post, company co-founder Andrew Chang explains that Google’s native BLE technology is relatively young and challenging to work with. This has caused a delay in the release of the Android App. For all the non-techies out there (I’m including myself in this one), BLE stands for “Bluetooth Low Energy” and it’s simply a newer type of short-wavelength data transmission that works over a shorter distance in an effort to conserve energy and reduce battery consumption.

This leads us to the million dollar question: When can we expect the Android App to become available?

When will it become available?

Lumo BodyTech seems to be fairly tight-lipped when it comes to offering a release date. Perhaps they don’t want to disappoint if they miss their anticipated date?

While the release date is not exactly clear, the company appears to be beta testing an app for the Samsung GALAXY S4 & S5 as well as the Note 4&5. In other words, an Android App does exist, however, it’s being tested by a select few in order to work out any bugs before actually being released to the general public.

My prediction….

It would of course be in the companies best interest to release the Android app prior to the 2015 holiday shopping season in order to capture the holiday sales from Android users. Given that there’s rumored to be beta testing going on as this review is being written (June 2015), I’m predicting that the release will come sometime around fall of 2015 or sooner. Bookmark this post and check back for release updates and to read my updated review which will provide extensive coverage of the Droid app as soon as it’s released.

If you are a Droid user, the good news is that you can use the Lumo Lift without the software and just wait for the new app to be released. When used in the coaching session, you will be “buzzed” whenever your posture begins to fail. No software required. It’s activated by pushing and holding the sensor for 3 seconds.

In the meantime, Android users can track their progress using Lumo’s latest offering, the Windows PC dongle which retails for $20 and simply plugs into an available USB port and provides desktop monitoring of your posture.

UPDATE: Lumo Body Tech has officially announced the release of the Android app on June 4, 2015. Android app review will soon follow. Stay tuned…

According to a blog post on the companies website, the following devices are supported. Keep in mind, you must be running Jelly Bean 4.3, Kitkat or Lollipop.

  • Samsung Galaxy S4 / S5
  • Samsung Galaxy Note 3 / Note 4
  • Nexus 6
  • Moto X (2nd Gen)

Windows BLE Dongle & Desktop App for Lumo Lift

IMG_20150601_142031432_HDRReleased in the Fall of 2014, the Windows Dongle for the PC allows those without access to an Apple product or anyone who simply prefers to use a desktop version of the software to get in on the action.

The dongle can be purchased separately or discounted when bundled with the device.

There are however two restrictions with this dongle. First, it must be used with Windows 7 or later and second, you must have an available USB port.

It uses Bluetooth LE technology which can operate up to 30 feet from your computer.

Personally, I spend most of my work day behind a computer and this is when my posture suffers the most. In my case, using the Dongle actually seemed to be a better option.

Setting up the Windows Dongle

insertdongleAs a person who has a tendency to set goals and track my progress, I had to set up and start using the Lumo Lift app.

I primarily use Android devices and as mentioned earlier, the Droid app has yet to be released. (EDIT: Android App is now available) Fortunately, I run Windows 7 on my PC and was able to use the Bluetooth dongle that Lumo offers.

Installing it was simple. I just downloaded the file from their website, plugged in the dongle and opened the program. I was then asked for information such as my name, email address, age, sex, height, and weight.

After entering this information, I was instructed to press the sensor once in order to sync the device to my computer. Easy peasy.

Features accessible with the windows app

The windows app offers several additional features that are inaccessible without it. Here is a brief summary of exactly what can be accessed with the app.

  • Steps, Distance, & Calories – While the primary purpose of this device is to train and monitor posture, the step, distance, and calorie counters are a nice bonus. To test for accuracy,  I walked around for two minutes while counting my steps. I then returned to my work station and waited for the Lumo Lift to sync with my computer so that I could compare my count to what the device recorded. The Lumo Lift was right on the money! I later walked a known 3 mile distance and once again it proved to be very accurate. Calorie count is calculated based on the weight and age that is entered when you set up the app. I wasn’t able to check the accuracy of this feature.
  • Real time coaching – Enter a coaching session and view real time feedback using the coaching screen view. While using good posture, you will receive either a green colored screen with an encouraging message such as “Looks like someone is a perfectionist” or if your posture begins to slip, a red screen appears with a message such as “Just straighten up a bit and you’ll be great”. I found that the red alert screen often appears a split second before being alerted with a buzz, allowing a chance to quickly make adjustments before a buzz alert occurs. You can set the app to “always appear on top” which enables you to watch a green or red screen in your peripheral vision while working at your computer.
  • Track progress- View the total hours of “good posture” throughout each day. It also allows you to track your level of activity throughout the day.
  • Posture alert mode – Activate the posture alert feature which offers a more relaxed alert system when poor posture is being used. Instead of an immediate reminder, you can set the timer for anywhere from 1-30 minutes. If you remain in the bad posture position for the specified number of minutes, you will be notified with a buzz.
  • Change coaching duration- By default, each training session was set for 1 hour. With the app, you change the length of each training session to 5 mins, 15 mins, 1 hour, or 4 hours.
  • Sync to My Fitness Pal – While I haven’t explored this feature, the app allows you to sync your Lumo lift to your my fitness pal account. By doing so, it will automatically add your calories burned and steps taken to your My Fitness Pal exercise diary.

app home-hourly

How the dongle works with the Lumo Lift

The Lumo Lift comes equipped with 32mb of internal flash memory which will store approximately 4 weeks of data on the sensor. While out of range, your information is stored on the device. Once within range, your computer will detect the sensor and all of the gathered data will then be transmitted from the device to your computer using Bluetooth. This information will then be available for viewing using the app.

As for range, the manufacturer suggests that the dongle is able to detect the sensor when it is within 30 feet. I found the range to be roughly 30 feet, maybe a few feet less.

Putting the Lumo Lift to the Test

Lumo PackagePackage contentsLumo frontLumo Back

Arrival and Unpacking

The Lumo Lift arrived in a nice retail package that revealed the sensor and with a small gray magnetic clasp affixed to the center.

In addition to the sensor and light gray clasp, there was also another black clasp, bra strap clasp, a small instruction booklet, USB charging dock, and what appeared to be three additional square super magnets which are roughly the same size magnets that are incorporated into the provided clasps. While these additional magnets seemed to be intended for the purpose of packaging and were not mentioned on the label, they could be used to create a customized clothing accessory clasp.

The size and weight of the sensor was actually a bit smaller than I anticipated, measuring 1 7/8″ long, 1″ wide,  and 1/2″ thick weighing it at 12.8 grams (including the gray magnetic clasp) or roughly the equivalent weight of two quarters. Pretty incredible.

I looked over the 7 page instruction booklet which contained no more than four sentences per page along with a few images. While the booklet covered the basics including button function, light status, buzz patterns, charging, how to align, how to wear, and how to enter “coaching mode”, I was still left with several unanswered questions which were later cleared up after reading the support section on their website.

Getting started

Check lumo batterywearingAfter changing into my favorite tight fitting Alignmed shirt I attached the sensor inside of my shirt, just below the collar bone and secured it with the provided clasp. Putting on the Lumo Lift was a no brainer, because the magnetic clasp practically jumped out of my hand and onto my shirt.

The instructions advised to calibrate the sensor prior to each each use by simply double clicking on the clasp, as you would a mouse. After clicking and waiting several seconds for the confirmation buzzes nothing was happening so I clicked on it once again. Still nothing.

I removed the sensor and pressed on it once while searching for the light indicator which shows the battery status. I actually couldn’t even locate the indicator light.

At this point I plugged the USB charging dock into my computer and lined up the charging terminals on the sensor with the terminals on the dock. Once close, the sensor jumped out of my fingers, magically lining itself up on the dock and a red light that was hidden beneath the face of the sensor illuminated. How clever. My unit apparently did not come fully charged which would explain why it was unresponsive.

Two hours later I had the green light and was ready to go.

Before continuing, I would like to point out that the instructions advise that you get into good posture with your “Shoulders back and head lifted” when calibrating the device. While you may be familiar with what good posture should look like, others may not be. Either way, I would suggest checking out the American Physical Therapy Associations Secret of Good Posture guide to ensure that you fully understand what good posture should look like.

Standing tall, shoulders back, head lifted, I re-installed the Lumo Lift and and double clicked to calibrate it. Within a couple of seconds I received a series of three confirmation buzzes, indicating that it had been calibrated.  The buzzing sensation was similar to that of a cell phone on vibrate mode which I found to tickle somewhat.

Coaching mode

coaching 2I decided to first test the Lumo in coaching mode which offers an immediate buzz when poor posture is used. The buzz continues every couple of seconds until the good posture position is resumed.

Entering coaching mode was easy, just press and hold for a couple of seconds until it buzzes once. Turning it off is just as easy. Simply press and hold until two consecutive buzzes are felt.

Coaching mode was on and my workday had begun. Like some of you who are reading this, I spend most of my work day seated behind a desk which is when my posture suffers the most.

With the device on, I made a conscious effort to remain upright in the good posture position but sure enough, ten minutes into my workday I received my first warning. Hunched forward and clearly in the wrong, I sat back to resume good posture and the sensor stopped buzzing.

I must admit that just the idea of “getting buzzed” kept me sitting up straight for the majority of my training session. I had suddenly become more aware of my posture just knowing that the senor was monitoring me.  For a while I felt like I was participating in some sort of Pavlov experiment.

coaching1As my session continued on, I deservingly received a buzz every time I leaned forward or slouched down in my seat.  The sensor allowed for an inch or two of leeway before activating, meaning that I did not have to sit completely motionless.

An hour into my training session, I unexpectedly felt a series of two buzzes which according to the instructions that I later read, indicated that my training session had timed out and ended on its own. The instructions noted that the session time can be set at 5 minutes, 15 minutes, 1 hour or 4 hours by using the app.

I later tried the coaching mode using the app which showed either a red or green screen, depending on the current state of my posture. While the coaching portion of the app was not necessary because you will receive a buzz notification, I found the visualization to be helpful. I could set the app to “always on top” and watch my progress while working on my computer.

After remaining seated for several hours, I began to wonder how the Lumo Lift would perform while moving in coaching mode. Remaining conscious of my posture, I set out on a 45 minute walk to see if I could get it to inadvertently activate the sensor. During my walk I didn’t experience any unexpected buzzing which was good.

Day one had ended and I had declared my training session a success. While the buzzing did become annoying certain times of the day when my posture suffered the most due to fatigue, it functioned just as intended to and I didn’t receive any undeserved notifications with the exception of a couple times where I had to bend over to reach something on the floor.

Posture Alert Mode

Posture alertAfter testing the Lumo Lift in coaching mode which didn’t cut any slack, I was ready to try the more relaxed alert option.

Using the app, I entered the posture alert mode and set the alert for two minutes and set the timer so that it would remain on throughout the workday.

During the first hour there was of course a definite difference in the number of times the alert sounded.  Set at two minutes, it didn’t seem to alert often enough so I decided to change the setting to one minute which seemed to be a good compromise between being constantly alerted and not being alerted enough. Throughout the day, I would receive an occasional warning buzz whenever I leaned forward and remained in that position for over a minute.

Because it doesn’t immediately activate at the first sign of poor posture, I found this mode to be a more practical option, especially during the first few days of using the Lumo Lift. I later reverted back to the coaching mode after a few days of getting used to sitting up straight on my own.

Battery Life

batteryThe Lumo Lift boasts a 5 day battery life and a 2 hour charge time but how does this product stand up to these claims?

While I had a tendency to store the sensor on the charging dock each night, I decided to experiment to see exactly how long the battery would last without being charged. Checking the battery status could be done in one of two ways – by pressing the device once and noting the led color or by using the app. The former tells you when the battery falls below a 15% charge while the latter offers a precise reading.

When used daily in coaching mode, I found the battery lasted just over 4 days which fell slightly short of expectations. When simply used as a monitoring tool (without alerts), I found that it would last just over 5 days.

As for charging, the amount of time varied between 1-2 hours, depending upon how far the battery had been discharged.

Overall Opinion and Recommendation

10After spending three weeks with the Lumo Lift, it was quite clear why this product has created so much buzz in recent months.  It has been featured on ABC, NBC, Wall Street Journal, and CNET, as well as several other. In 2014 Time Magazine named the Lumo Lift a best invention of 2014.

It’s the only posture monitor of its kind that provides real time feedback as well as kept track of not only posture but also level of activity.

The app allowed me to reflect upon my progress each day. The mere idea of being held accountable had an immediate impact on my posture. Over time, I noticed a gradual shift from spending the majority of my work day using “slouchy” posture to mostly “remarkable” posture, which provided reassurance that my posture was showing signs of improvement.

While I’m not the most tech savvy individual, I found this product both easy to set up and easy to use.  It took less than 15 minutes to read over the instructions and set up both the sensor and the app. Once the installation had been completed, the most difficult part was remembering to put it on and remove it each day. There were a couple times where I almost forgot to remove it from my shirt.

As for the $80 price tag, this seems to be fair considering that the Lumo Lift acts a posture trainer as well as a fitness tracker. The step, distance, and calorie counter were all proved to be quite handy.

The Lumo Lift is without a doubt, the best posture trainer that I have tested so far. Traditional posture supports get the job done but once the support is removed,  your posture will eventually begin to slip because the muscles that are responsible for posture were not used and strengthened while wearing the brace. Some evidence suggests that wearing a posture support can actually weaken your posture as a support performs the function that your muscles normally would.

The Lumo Lift allows you to ultimately retrain your posture and sit up straight on your own without the assistance of a support. No supports, no exercises, no odd contraptions. Just sit up straight and allow the Lumo Lift to remind you whenever you slip into bad posture. Within the first week you will start to see results as you unlearn your old poor posture habits.

Overall, this product has earned a “perfect 10” because of its great performance, ease of use, and reasonable price.

Pros vs Cons

plus

  • Compact, lightweight, and concealable
  • Virtually undetectable
  • Syncs to smartphone for easy tracking and analysis
  • Reasonably priced
  • Includes calorie, step, and distance counters
  • Alert settings put you in control
  • Retrains posture and doesn’t cause brace dependency
  • Simply effective
  • A charge lasts up to 5 days
  • Named a “best invention” by Time Magazine
  • Works with Apple, Window, and now Android products

minus

 

 

  • Not effective with loose fitting clothing

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4 Star Rating

What is the StandUpStr8?

StandUpStr8 retails for $49.97 plus shipping

Recently introduced to the market, the StandUpStr8 is a product that is designed to assist those who suffer from poor posture.

What exactly is the StandUpStr8? This is the first question that came to mind when I was initially introduced to this device. Is it a posture brace or support? No. Is it a product that’s used to remind you to use good posture? No. Well what exactly is it?

I must admit, my first impression was that it was simply a knockoff of the PostureNow which gained a tremendous amount of popularity after being featured on the ABC Tv series SharkTank back in September of 2012. However, after reading a bit more about this product, I quickly learned that while there are similarities between the two, the StandUpStr8 is an entirely different product that does not even work on the same principle as the PostureNow. The PostureNow is a posture trainer that is worn for 10 minutes every day to help you retrain your posture.

The StandUpStr8 on the other hand is an exercise tool that assists with performing  a specific exercise that targets the trapezius muscle which is the muscle that is predominantly responsible for posture. The manufacturer suggests following their exercise protocol using this device for 2 minutes per day, 3 days a week. A total commitment of 6 minutes per week, performing a simple exercise will improve my posture, I asked myself? While I was very intrigued by the idea, I was also skeptical by these claims. This of course led me to research the company behind the StandUpStr8 to learn more about the inventor and their credentials.

Company Information

trustAs with any new product that I come across that interests me, I have a tendency to question the background of the company. After all, anyone can produce and sell such a product and promise you the world. I began by taking a look at the basic company information.

StandUpStr8 is produced by Stand Up Str8 LLC, a Houston, Texas company. It was registered as a business entity with the Texas Comptroller in July of 2014. The company is headed by Kenneth Belveal of Houston, Texas who has spent over 23 years as a personal fitness trainer. The company had registered with the Better Business Bureau in July of 2014 and maintains an A- rating with no open or closed cases. Their website was created in May 2014 and uses HTTPS during the checkout process which is necessary to ensure that the site is secure while making a purchase.

On the surface, everything seems to check out okay.

But what about the inventor? Who exactly is Ken Belveal and what are his credentials?

Who is Ken Belveal?

ken

Ken Belveal, Inventor of StandUpStr8

Ken Belveal, the inventor behind the StandUpStr8, is an entrepreneur who has been operating a mobile fitness business in the Houston, Texas area for 20 years now. According to his website, he has spent the past two decades traveling to his clients’ homes to assist with their personal training goals. He also offers wellness seminars as part of his services. While on his website, I noticed that several of his clients had offered positive testimonies concerning Mr. Belveal’s services.

His biography information indicates that he spent the first five years of his career in the banking industry before leaving to pursue his true passion which was to help people achieve their fitness goals. His LinkedIn page shows that he graduated from Baylor College of Medicine Institute with a personal trainer certification.

As a passionate fitness entrepreneur with 20 years in the business and many satisfied clients, I would say that Mr. Belveal has what it takes to design and sell such a product.  After all, our muscles are what keeps us standing or sitting upright and are responsible for our posture. Who better to design a product that targets the muscle group that’s responsible for good posture other than a seasoned certified personal trainer.

Product Design

armcuff

Arm cuff complete with adjustable slide buckle

Three main components make up this device, the 2 arm cuffs, 2 adjustable straps and a rubberized center ring. Because it’s adjustable, it’s available in one size only.

Each arm cuff is made from a rectangular piece of dense polypropylene closed cell foam that measures approximately 1/4″ in thickness which provides a comfortable padding between your body and the device. Sewn onto the outer facing portion of the arm cuff is a heavy duty piece of nylon material which provides rigidity and serves as an attachment point for the adjustable straps. A branding tag is sewn into the nylon material on the right side of the device.

padding (1)

Foam Arm Padding

A piece of nylon belt material, similar to what is used in a car seat belt, is used to connect each arm cuff to the center ring. A short piece of this belt material is permanently fixed to a metal slide buckle and sewn into one extremity of the arm cuff while a long piece of belt material is sewn onto the other extremity of the cuff. The longer piece of the belt feeds under one side of the metal loop and over the other side, creating a loop that can be adjusted. From this point, the strap can be lengthened or shortened by feeding the belt through one end of the buckle and then taking up the slack on the other side.

padding (2)

Center connector ring

At the center, a 1/4″ thick 4″ rubber o-ring serves as a connection point where the two arm bands join. This o-ring serves as both a connection point as well as provides resistance which is key to strengthening the trapezius area that is being targeted.

Overall, it appears to be designed very well and made from quality materials. Before even using, I tugged on it while listening for the sound of stitching coming apart. The stitching was solid and showed no signs of budging. I don’t think I could have destroyed the StandUpStr8 if I tried.

How does it work?

how it worksIf you are looking for a wearable product that provides posture support, I can tell you now that you will be disappointed with this product. Unlike a support which keeps your body upright by doing the work for you, this is an exercise device that helps to strengthen the muscles that are responsible for good posture. Strengthening this area will allow you to maintain your posture without having to wear a support on a daily basis. In other words, if you’re not motivated enough to do a few posture improving exercises, save your money.

The manufacturer offers a three phase protocol that starts simple and progressively becomes more challenging. The provided instructions suggest that you position the StandUpStr8 under each arm with the straps traveling across, just above your chest. After adjusting the belt length so that your upper arms are in line with the side of your body, squeeze your shoulderblades together and down. This is considered one repetition or what is commonly referred to as a “rep”.

  1. Start by performing 5, five second reps once a day, every other day for the first week. Add 2-3 reps each subsequent week until you reach 12 reps. This increase should be gradual and will take about 4 weeks to work up to 12 reps.
  2. After reaching 12 reps, reduce down to 9 reps but increase the holding time from 5 seconds to 7 seconds. Add 1-2 reps each week until you work back up to 12 reps. This process should take about 4 weeks.
  3. After achieving 12 reps, reduce once again to 9 reps but increase the holding time from 7 seconds to 10 seconds. Add 1 rep each week until you work back up to 12 reps. This process will take about 4 weeks to achieve. From here on, you will be doing 12, 10 second reps or 2 minutes (120) of exercise every other day.

Basically, you start by doing only 25 seconds of actual exercise and slowly build your endurance up until you reach 120 seconds. This occurs over the course of about 12 weeks.

The chart below should help you visualize the repetition/time progression,

StandUpStr8 Exercise Progression

 RepsSecondsTotal exercise time (seconds)
Week 15525
Week 27-8535-40
Week 39-11545-55
Week 411-12555-60
Week 59763
Week 610-11770-77
Week 711-12777-84
Week 812784
Week 991090
Week 101010100
Week 111110110
Week 121210120

Cost & Guarantee

cost2The StandUpStr8 seems to only be available directly from the manufacturers website and is sold for $49.97 plus $5.10 shipping for a total price of around $55.00 delivered to your doorstep. In comparison to other posture exerciser products on the market, the cost is about average.

Order Here 

The company does offer a 90 day full money back guarantee but does not pay return shipping costs. They also do not refund the initial shipping costs. In other words, if you are not satisfied with your purchase, you can return it within 90 days and you will be out somewhere around $10 ($5 shipping each way). The seller does ask that you try it for the full 90 days before returning if not satisfied.

 

Using Standupstr8

My Personal Review

While I wasn’t able to test the StandUpStr8 for the full 12 weeks, I did manage to spend 4 weeks with it before having to move on to my next product review.

The StandUpStr8 arrived in a long and narrow box and came complete with directions for use. It was shipped 2 day priority mail via USPS.

After receiving, I unpacked it, read over the instruction, made some adjustments and started using it the following day.

I found the first time using it to be almost too easy and I was interested in seeing faster results so I decided to start with 9 reps, 7 seconds each instead of the 5 reps, 5 seconds. By slightly increasing the reps and time spent doing each rep, I started to notice some results after the first couple of days. After using, I noticed a reduction in shoulder tension and could feel my trapezius muscle being targeted. This workout continued every other day after work for the first week and then I increased to 11 reps 7 seconds the second week. I slowly progressed until I reached ten, nine second reps by the end of the fourth week.

I typically do not spend much time working my traps at the gym and this product allowed me to focus on this area and helped to strengthen this muscle group. I could feel a noticeable difference in shoulder and neck tension as I was using the StandUpStr8 and saw signs of postural improvement after about 3 weeks of use.

While I’m certainly not a gym rat, I’ve used a few different types of resistance band training equipment such as this one. Quality-wise, this product is built to stand the test of time and should last for several years.

Recommendation

yesWhile not a posture brace, the StandUpStr8 serves as a high quality resistance trainer that effectively targets the trapezius, the muscle that is primarily responsible for posture.

It was developed by a seasoned personal trainer with over 20 years experience who has made a career out of helping others achieve their fitness goals.

Strengthening the postural muscles by exercising on a regular basis provides long-term benefits that include less neck and back pain as well as better posture. This product assists by helping you target this area. The exercise program is not difficult and takes up very little time.

Unfortunately, as with any other self-improvement effort, this solution requires some degree of commitment. It’s not as simple as strapping on a support and going about your day. If you are willing to spend a couple minutes each day preforming these exercises while sticking to the progressive workout schedule, you will see improvement after a few weeks of use.

If you are the type of person who has a basement full of As Seen On TV ThighMasters, Shake Weights, and ab rollers that have only been used once, you might want to save your money and search elsewhere for a solution.

Order Here 

Pros vs Cons

 

 

  • Designed by a fitness expert
  • Durable
  • Affordable – $50 is a fair asking price
  • Comes with a 90 day money back guarantee
  • Portable and easy to use
  • Effectively targets muscles responsible for posture

minus

 

 

  • Requires commitment

Still Need Help Choosing a Posture Brace?

From posture supports and resistance trainers to biofeedback shirts, there are well over 100 products that are currently being sold in stores and online. With so many to choose from, finding one that delivers can be challenging to say the least.

After evaluating over 25 of the most popular products being sold, I have created this Posture brace comparison table which assigns a ranking to each product based on criteria such as comfort, effectiveness, innovativeness, durability, and cost.

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4 Star Rating

About the AirStream

alignmed airstream

AirStream by Intelliskin retails for $110 + shipping

Just in time for summer, Intelliskin has introduced yet another addition to their product line. The AirStream tee is the latest in clinically proven apparel that promises improved posture by raising your postural awareness. This latest release offers similar features as their Foundation shirt that I just tested a few months ago, yet boasts improved breathability without sacrificing performance. This new feature makes it ideal for vigorous exercise activities as well as a day in the office.

But does this new product really stand up to all of its claims? In the past, I have tried the Foundation Shirt 2.0 with amazing results so when I was asked by Intelliskin to review their latest design, I couldn’t have been more excited. For the next few paragraphs I’m going to share with you what I learned about this shirt and my experience testing it out.

Lets start by talking about the construction of the tee.

Fabric

Taking a look at the materials tag, the company describes the fabric that is used to create the AirStream as “CoolCue” which contains 80% cooling nylon and 20% spandex.

The manufacturer’s tag further suggests that it’s is made in the USA from imported fabric.

Design

side vents

Powermesh vent provides air cooling

The primary feature that differentiates this product from the others offered by Intelliskin such as the Essential and Foundation shirts is the breathable design. While the materials that are used to produce each of these shirts are quite similar, the increased use of a breathable power mesh material sets it apart from the other products that are currently offered by the company.

It’s easy to see how this shirt would be cooler in comparison to the Foundation or Essential shirt. The back, sides, and armpit areas are made entirely from a stretchable nylon power mesh type fabric. In fact, the only part of the shirt that’s not constructed of this fabric is the chest and stomach area.

Compare this to the Essential which features mesh over the shoulders and a small strip down the entire length of the spine or the Foundation shirt which uses the mesh material only across shoulder and upper back area.

Intelliskin classifies their shirts into two categories of use – Moderate Posturecue and Maximum Posturecue. The AirStream (along with the Essential line) both fall into the “Moderate” category and are designed for everyday use while the Foundation line offers a more aggressive approach to cuing your muscles that are responsible for proper posture.

With each, you can choose from three different styles – the Crew Tank, V-Tank, and the Tee. Each offer their own unique advantage.

How it works

posturecuePerhaps one of the most commonly asked questions  is “How do these shirts work?” In the past, if you wanted to correct poor posture, there was only one product to choose from which was your conventional posture brace. While such braces are just as effective today as they were in years past, they can be somewhat restrictive and uncomfortable to wear, especially during physical activity.

Several years ago, Dr. Tim Brown, an avid surfer and chiropractor, began experimenting with apparel that incorporated a technique known as Kinesio taping. Kinesio taping was developed by Dr. Kenzo Kase back in the 1970’s and involves adhering strips of fabric tape onto the skin in key areas. The tape helps to relieve pain, provide support, and improve overall posture.

Kinesio taping

Kinesio taping

Dr. Brown basically took a compression fitted shirt and incorporated what he calls “PostureCue Technology” into the shirt which mimics Kinesio taping. The results: a non-restrictive comfortable garment that wears like a compression fitted shirt yet “cues” 20,000-80,000 nerve receptors to help realign your posture. His products are endorsed by several medical professionals and athletes as well as confirmed by various medical studies.

You can read more about Kinesio taping, Dr. Brown, and those who support his products here.

Sizes and color

The AirStream is currently only offered in black on black in 7 sizes:  X-Small, Small, Medium, Large, X-Large, XX-Large, and XXX-Large. Sorry ladies, it doesn’t appear as if Intelliskin is offering this particular shirt for women at this time.

It seems as if the company has redesigned their website which now includes a sizing calculator which make choosing the right size much easier. The last time that I ordered, I had to look at a weight/ chest size chart in order to choose the correct size. Now, you simply select your chest, weight, and waist from the drop-down menu and the calculator will then compute the correct size.

Remember, when measuring your chest be sure to go across the back, under the armpits and around to the front of your chest. Find your waist measurement by measuring around your body at the navel area.

Price

The Airstream currently retails for $110 plus $5 shipping and handling, bringing the total cost to $115.  Compared to the Essential or Foundation shirt which can be purchased for $95 plus $5 shipping, the Airstream is about $15 more expensive.

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Airstream front side back

Most of the AirStream uses power mesh fabric

My Experience

After recently testing out the Foundation shirt, I was ready to take on a new challenge and give the AirStream a try.

My package arrived in less than a week after traveling over 2,500 miles from Newport Beach, California to the east coast.

It arrived neatly packaged inside of a slightly transparent gray colored bag, folded and in pristine condition.

After removing the shirt from the package, I examined the craftsmanship of the product. It appeared to be well put together. One of the first features that I noticed was an addition of silicone bands at the bottom of the shirt as well as around each sleeve which help to keep the shirt in place. Another feature that I noticed was a change to the logo design that was printed on the shirt.

Upon first glance, it was obvious that the majority of this shirt is made from the power mesh material. This left me wondering how well the AirStream would perform in comparison to it’s predecessors, the Essential and Foundation.

Performance test

Elastic band incorporated into the bottom of the shirt

Elastic band incorporated into the bottom of the shirt

The temperature climbed to 85° the following day which presented the perfect opportunity to field test my new tee. Unlike the Foundation shirt, which I wore primarily as an undershirt, I planned to wear this shirt by itself in order to test the cooling effect.

I started the day by carefully stretching the shirt over my body and pulling down the waist and arm bands to hold the shirt in place. The familiar skin-tight feeling was quite apparent yet was very soothing on the skin.  I thought that the “PostureCue” effect was surprisingly strong considering that it’s rated it as “moderate” by the company. As with the other Foundation shirt, there was a noticeable suggestive elastic tug on my shoulder which helped to signal me to keep my shoulders back and posture in line. So far, it seemed to be doing its job.

I began by performing a few stretches followed by a 5 mile run on hilly terrain. I could feel myself running taller as the shirt served as a reminder to maintain good posture. Naturally, with the midday temperature approaching 85°, within a few minutes I began to sweat profusely as the blazing sun began beating down on the black material. The light mesh material offered pleasant cooling relief throughout my run. The cooling effect was the next best thing to running shirtless, which of course nobody wants to see.

Afterward, I peeled the shirt off and threw it in the washer on the gentle cycle and hung it up to dry.

A few days later I put the shirt back on and left to practice my golf swing. I headed off to the driving range sporting my new shirt hoping to see improvement in my swing.

Elastic arm bands

Elastic arm bands

While at the range I hit a large bucket of balls and felt as if the fluidity of my swing had improved some. As a result, my consistency and accuracy showed signs of improvement.

Unfortunately, it’s impossible to conclude that my swing had improved after just one visit to the range with my new shirt. Perhaps I was just having a good day? This sounds like a great reason to return for additional testing!

Curious to see how well it preformed while at work, I used the AirStream as an undershirt for 5 days. After achieving fantastic results in the past with the Foundation, I anticipated similar results with Intelliskin’s latest product.

The AirStream did not disappoint when it came to workplace performance. Even while under my button-up shirt, the PostureCue effects were still apparent and kept me sitting up straight all day long, leaving my shoulders and back feeling relaxed at the end of each day. I would say that postural benefits of this shirt are equivalent to the Foundation, despite the manufacturers claims of being “moderate”.

Overall thoughts and recommendation

Judge gavelOnce again, Intelliskin delivers as promised with a high performance shirt that keeps you upright and running cool, even during warm temperatures and an intense workout.

While tight fitting, the AirStream is comfortable and quite breathable in comparison to its predecessors. It signals your posture and helps to keep you “standing tall” whether you are going for a jog, swinging a golf club or seated behind a desk.

The addition of waist and arm bands prevents the shirt from riding up your back and arms during physical activity.

Overall,  I would consider the AirStream a welcomed addition to the Intelliskin line. It’s a product that I would recommend to anyone who is looking to keep their posture in check while working out or enjoying an evening out.

However, if you have no intentions of using the AirStream for physical activity, I would recommend saving $15 and go with the Essential or Foundation shirt.

approvedAs for improvements to the shirt, the fit was excellent, the performance was great, but being only available in black, a white option would not attract as much heat from the sun. The company only seems to only offer this shirt in the color black at the moment.

If you are having a difficult time deciding between the three shirts that the company offers, the following should help you to decide.

Compare AirStream vs Foundation vs Essential shirts

First, there was the Foundation and Essential. Now, Intelliskin has added the AirStream. If you’re anything like me, you may be wondering which one to go with. After all, on the surface they all appear quite similar – or are they?

According to the manufacturer, all three shirts have the following features in common:

  • Sports mesh panels
  • Posture specific core compression
  • Ergonomic seams and stretch panels
  • UV 50+ sun protection
  • Moisture wicking
  • Four way stretch
  • Anti-microbial
  • Anti Odor
  • Machine Washable

So what differentiates this shirt form the Essential and Foundation? I created the chart below to help those who are trying to decide which product to choose.

 AirStream
airstream
Essential
essential
Foundation
foundation
Posture Cue LevelModerateModerateMaximum
Fabric typeCoolCueCool JadeLycra Sports
Unique featureNylon Power Mesh back and underarm panels / Silicone bottom band / pool safeMade from recycled Jade stone reduces skin temperature 3-4° FMaximum performance and therapeutic benefit
Duration of useAll dayAll dayIntermittent/ as needed
Price$110$95$95

When making a selection, the first question that you may want to ask yourself is: What results do I desire from this shirt? If you are searching for a moderate use, everyday shirt, the AirStream or Essential would be a good choice.  If maximum performance is most important to you, the Foundation shirt is the way to go.

If you are trying to decided between the AirStream and Essential, ask yourself under what conditions will this shirt be used the most? At work as an undershirt – the Essential would be a good choice. While working out or in warmer climates – perhaps the AirStream would be ideal.

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Still Need Help Choosing a Posture Brace?

From posture supports and resistance trainers to biofeedback shirts, there are well over 100 products that are currently being sold in stores and online. With so many to choose from, finding one that delivers can be challenging to say the least.

After evaluating over 25 of the most popular products being sold, I have created this Posture brace comparison table which assigns a ranking to each product based on criteria such as comfort, effectiveness, innovativeness, durability, and cost.

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4 Star Rating

Who is Med Patent?

The Spidermed II is produced by Med Patent, a rehabilitation and orthopedic company that is based out of Warszawa, Poland. According to their website, for more than 25 years Med Patent has been making products that enable people to live an easier and more convenient life.

Aside from the Spidermed 2, the company also produces the Spidermed 1 which is similar in nature to the Spidermed 2 but focuses primarily on correcting shoulder slump.

In addition to the Spidermed line, Med Patent also manufactures the Dinopad Massage Mat, the Kangaroo Pregnancy Belt, and the Dinopad Mini Massage Mat.

Spidermed 2 – A Product description

spidermed IIYou might be examining the above photo and are trying to figure out exactly what this product is and how it works. In past reviews, I have tested out a number of different posture braces/supports, exercisers, and even t-shirts that help to correct poor posture but never a posture trainer that uses an audible signal as a reminder which helps to retrain poor posture. This unique product caught my interest so I had to get my hands on one and see exactly how it worked.

First and foremost, it’s important to understand that the Spidermed II is not a posture brace and provides absolutely no support for your shoulders and back. At first glance, it does however appear to be quite similar to most traditional posture braces that are being sold. In short, if you are in search of a simple support and you order this product, you will likely be disappointed when your package arrives and you look inside.

However, if you are interested in trying a system that actually retrains your posture for long lasting results without becoming dependent on wearing a brace on a daily basis, this innovative product may be of interest to you.

The construction

There are four main components that make up this device – the figure-eight clavicle straps, a belt that wraps around your midsection, the main body, and the connecting strap that joins the clavicle straps to the main body. I’m going to briefly mention the significance of each component.

Figure-eight clavicle strap:  These are a pair of adjustable elastic straps that are approximately 5/8″wide and wrap around each shoulder and join together at the center of the back using a metal ring. A plastic slide buckle on each strap allows for several inches of adjustment to accommodate nearly any size.

Midsection (stomach) belt:  The midsection straps wrap around the waist and attach at the rear main body of the device. The longer section of the belt is made from a ridged nylon material and is approximately 1″ wide. It features a plastic adjustment slide which can accommodate a wide range of waist sizes. This part of the strap also contains the male end of the attachment buckle. The other piece of the waist belt is a shorter 1″ wide elastic belt which contains the female end of the attachment buckle. When worn, the male strap will of course lock in to the female strap.

Connector strap: This is simply a short piece of nylon strapping that joins the clavicle straps to the main body.

Main body: The main component of this device is the body. It’s an oval-shaped plastic electronic device that serves as an attachment point for both the clavicle connector strap and the midsection belt. Three straps (two from the midsection, one from the connector strap) all join together at the main body using metal fastening loops. Each metal loop attaches to a plastic ribbon loop which goes into the main body of the device. These plastic ribbons seem to be attached to an on/off switch which when pulled, activates an audible alarm.

body alarmshoulder strapbelt adjustmentbelt buckle

 

How it works

Before you are able to use the Spidermed, you must first make a few adjustments so that it functions properly. Failure to make the proper adjustments will result in the alarm not activating as your posture begins to fail or worsen, or an alarm that continuously activates even while sitting up straight and using good posture.

Use the following steps to make the initial adjustments prior to wearing. These step takes a few minutes to complete and are easiest to do with the help of a partner. However, once the initial adjustment have been made, you can put it on and remove by yourself.

Initial fitting

  1. Loosen the adjustment slide on each shoulder strap and and put an arm through each strap so that it forms a figure 8 on your back. Ensure that the straps lay flat and are not twisted.
  2. Loosen the waist strap so that it fits around your mid section. Fasten the male end of the strap into the female end.
  3. While looking in a mirror, straighten your posture. Your shoulders should be back, abs tight, and back straight.
  4. Have an assistant slide the adjustment buckles on both the shoulder straps and waist belt until snug.
  5. The last and most important step is to fine-tune the straps so that the slightest shoulder, back or stomach movement triggers the alarm. The key is to adjust so that the alarm doesn’t sound while using good posture yet activates whenever you begin to lean forward or your stomach relaxes and protrudes.

Once these initial fitting steps have been completed, you should be able to use this device without the help of an assistant.

How its used

smAfter the initial fitting, you are ready to put the SpiderMed to work. When and how should you use this product?

According to the manufacturer, this product should be used in 15 minute increments 3 times per day. They further suggest that it can be used for longer periods of time and more often if you would like to achieve faster results.

It’s only appropriate to use it when preforming activities that involve limited movement. For instance, it can be used while seated behind a desk while working on a computer. You may also use it while watching television or any other sitting activity that doesn’t involve vigorous movement. The reason for this is because during activities such as walking, running, and bending, your muscles will naturally flex and move. The movement of your body will cause the alarm to sound constantly, even if you are using good posture. After a few minutes, you will no longer pay attention to the false alarms and the product would not be very useful.

With the device on and in the seated position, go about your activity as you normally would. If you begin to slouch forward or allow your abdominal muscles to relax and stomach protrude, the alarm will sound. When this occurs, simply return to the good posture position and the alarm will turn off on its own.

The idea is to constantly monitor your posture in real time and take immediate corrective action when you being to shift away from using good posture. By doing so, you are strengthening your postural muscles and retraining at the same time.

In addition to using this product, the manufacturer also offers instructions for 8 different exercises which will help to strengthen your postural muscles.

They also suggest a few diet changes such as cutting down on fat, drink plenty of water, and avoid carbonated drinks.

Cost

cost2The cost of the Spidermed will vary depending upon the retailer from which it’s purchased. In the United States, this product costs between $40-$50 plus shipping. Compared to the average cost of a traditional brace, the Spidermed is slightly less expensive.

Available sizes

Two different sizes are available, regular and large. The regular size is for those with a waist that is between 23″ to 33″ while the large is for those with a waist from 33″ up to 43″. At the moment, there doesn’t appear to be a product that is available for those with a waist larger than 43″.

My experience testing the Spidermed II

wearing spidermedMy Spidermed arrived in the mail and was packaged inside of a retail carton. After unpacking and taking a quick look over the instructions, I was ready to get started.

While the manufacturer suggested having a partner assist with the fitting process, I decided to tackle this task by myself. I started by lengthening all of the straps and then putting it on. I put it on, just as I would a backpack and made adjustments to the belt so that it was barely snug with my stomach sucked in. I then took it off and shortened the shoulder straps a couple inches. I put it back on, tested the fit and ended up removing and adjusting the shoulder straps two more time before I found just the right position. A couple more tweaks to the waist belt and it was just right.

Completing the fitting process without assistance was actually fairly easy and all together took less than 5 minutes. I was ready to go!

While standing in the mirror, I intentionally moved my shoulders forward, no more than 1/4″ and the alarm sounded. It was somewhat of a pleasant sound alarm that sort of resembled the sounds of a canary. The alarm also sounded whenever I allowed my abs to relax and move out just a fraction of an inch. This product really lets you know immediately when your posture begins to suffer. Time to put it to the test.

The at work test

sittingFor the next three weeks, I tested this product out while working behind my computer. For years, I’ve always had a tendency to start my day by sitting up straight and somehow end up slouched down in my seat within a few minutes. Without the assistance of a brace, my bad posture habit always seems to return. The SpiderMed was particularly interesting to me because it allowed me to use my postural muscles instead of relying on a brace to keep me upright.

I started my day by strapping it on and going to work. It wasn’t very long before the sound of chirping greeted me from behind, reminding me to sit up straight and suck it in. I responded by pulling my shoulders back into position but once again, a couple minutes later, the alarm sounded reminding me to straighten up. Withing the first 15 minutes of wearing it, I must have caught myself slouching at least six times. Well, it definitely lets you know when you are not using good posture!

After the first 15 minutes, it was time for a break. I took it off and tried to sit upright for the next 3 hours. After lunch I put the SpiderMed back on and went through the process all over again for another 15 minutes.

As the manufacturer suggested, I used it for a third time towards the end of the work day. Before retiring to bed, I noticed that my abs and neck were somewhat sore from my attempt to sit up straight all day.

I continued on for the next three weeks, gradually increasing my wear time from 15 minutes up to 25 minutes. I would often wear it 4 times per day instead of the suggested 3 times.

During the last couple days of week three I decided to test this product in conjunction with another product that I use on a regular basis, the Alignmed Posture Shirt. In the past, I have added the posture shirt to my arsenal of tools to combat my bad posture. I thought that the two products together would complement each other because they work in completely different ways.

The Spidermed alerts you as you begin to slouch while the Posture Shirt actually interacts with neuron receptors in your back to help realign your posture. The results – a one-two punch that was quite effective. I found the SpiderMed was activating less often when worn with the Posture Shirt.  I was able to continue improving my posture with the posture shirt while not using the Spidermed.

One downfall of this product was that the alert sound became muffled while leaning back against my computer chair. The speaker becomes covered and you are unable to hear if the alert goes off. In most cases, I found that while using good posture your back typically doesn’t rest against the back support of the chair so this wasn’t much of an issue. However, if I drifted back into my seat, the alarm was silenced by the backrest.

 My thoughts

queationThe Spidermed is a unique product that is in a league of it’s own. It was created by a rehabilitation specialist and is recommended by the National Institute of Public Health.

It’s surprisingly effective and serves as an immediate reminder when your posture begins to suffer.

Due to the nature of this product, you are actually strengthening your muscles instead of relying on a support to hold your body upright. During the first couple of weeks you will feel sore from using muscles that are usually not used. Within a week or two, this soreness goes away and with time, you will begin to develop the habit of using good posture.

Overall, this product is incredibly effective and well designed. I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in changing their bad posture habits. Keep in mind that it’s going to take work and you will be uncomfortable for several days as your body becomes accustomed to sitting up straight.

If you are dedicated and are willing to use this device as intended (along with regular strengthening exercises), you will benefit from using this product.

 Pros vs Cons

plus

Pros:

 

  • Created by rehabilitation specialists & NIPH recommended
  • Serves as a reminder, not a support
  • Helps to strengthen and retrain posture muscles
  • Provides long lasting results
  • At $40-$50 (USD) it’s relatively inexpensive
  • Works just as advertised.

minus

 

Cons:

  • Sound is muffled if you place your back against the back rest
  • Requires effort in order to work

Still Need Help Choosing a Posture Brace?

From posture supports and resistance trainers to biofeedback shirts, there are well over 100 products that are currently being sold in stores and online. With so many to choose from, finding one that delivers can be challenging to say the least.

After evaluating over 25 of the most popular products being sold, I have created this Posture brace comparison table which assigns a ranking to each product based on criteria such as comfort, effectiveness, innovativeness, durability, and cost.

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4 Star Rating

How does the Intelliskin shirt work?

intelliskin

The Intelliskin Foundation Shirt retails for $95 plus $5 shipping

When I first heard about the Intelliskin Foundation / Eve Shirt, the immediate thought that came to mind was, “Exactly how does this product work”? At first glance it appears similar in nature to an Under Armour compression fitted shirt. It is difficult to imagine how a tight fitting tee shirt could possibly help to correct poor posture. Nearly every posture correcting product that I have tried in the past has used a traditional style brace that physically holds the shoulders back which often restricts the body’s range of motion.

The Intelliskin shirt on the other hand has no straps, snaps, or buckles and is non-restrictive. In addition, it’s fashionable and doesn’t need to be hidden underneath your clothing. I was intrigued by the idea but needed to collect more information on this interesting product before dropping a c-note on what appeared to be an expensive shirt.

Kinesio Taping, Meet Compression Shirt

I began my journey to find out more about this product by visiting the manufacturers’ website. Here they explain the technology behind their Foundation shirts.

Back in the mid-1970’s a well-known Japaneses doctor by the name of Dr. Kenzo Kase came up with a concept called Kinesio taping. Kinesio taping involves adhering strips of tape onto various areas of the body such as the torso, arms, and legs. Over the past 40 years, this technique has been commonly used by athletes to improve posture, relieve pain, enhance performance, and support muscles.

kinesio taping

Kinesio Taping has been in use since the mid 1970’s

Kinesio taping is often confused with athletic taping which on the surface appear similar to each other. So what’s the difference?

Athletic taping uses a very rigid tape to restrict the range of motion of muscles and is typically only used for short period of time. This taping method has no rehabilitative benefits.

Kinesio taping, on the other hand, uses flexible taping in targeted areas while allowing for a full range of motion. This tape is typically left on for several days and can relieve pain and help the rehabilitation process.

In a nutshell, Intelliskin unites two existing products – the compression fitted t-shirt and Kinesio taping. The results – a fitted garment that mimics Kinesio taping. The company uses the term “PostureCue” to describe this technology.

Strips of PostureCue material mimicking Kinesio tape are sewn into the shoulders and back of a fitted compression shirt. These strategically placed pieces of fabric are held in place on your back and shoulders due to the tight fitting nature of this shirt. While these bands do not physically hold your shoulders in line as a brace would, they help to train muscle memory by aligning the shoulders and spine. The PostureCue system interacts with thousands of nerve receptors in your back, signaling to your brain to tighten or relax specific muscles groups. Doing so provides a coaching tool that’s used to remind you to use good posture.

After learning a bit about how this product works,  I was still somewhat skeptical and began to wonder exactly who the person behind the Foundation shirt was. My research led me to the inventor of Intelliskin, Dr. Tim Brown, a California physician who seems to have extensive knowledge on the subject matter and several years of experience using Kinesio taping.

Meet the creator, Dr. Tim Brown

timbrown

Intelliskin founder, Dr. Tim Brown

Dr. Tim brown, inventor behind the Intelliskin shirt, has a long history in kinesio taping dating back to over three decades. In 1984, one year after finishing his Doctor of Chiropractor degree at the Cleveland Chiropractor College,  he developed an advanced kinesio taping method that he named “Specific Proprioceptive Response Taping” (S.P.R.T) while working with professional surfing and beach volleyball athletes. Since then, he has taught thousands of Sports Medicine Specialists, Chiropractors, Physiatrists, Athletic Trainers, and Orthopedists his technique.

During his early career, he spent nine years employed by the US Open Surfing Championship as their director of sports medicine. Around the same time period he also worked for the Association of Volleyball Professionals. During his early career, he had become quite proficient in Kinesio taping while working with surfing and volleyball athletes from all around the United States.

As the demand for kinesio taping (S.P.R.T specifically) grew, it was suggested by several athletes that Dr. Brown incorporated his taping technique into a garment.  In 1988 he began experimenting with old wet suites in an attempt to create a support for athletes with shoulder injuries. However, years had passed before he went back to experimenting with such garments.

In 2000, Dr. Brown created a prototype shoulder and spine garment that would assist athletes with injuries and help protect against future injury.

The development of his idea continued until 2004 when he perfected his former support system, naming it the s3, an acronym for Scapula and Spine Support. The s3 was a prescription only device that was issued by physicians. Since the product’s release, Dr. Brown has sold over 50,000 units worldwide.

Further development of such products continued until the Intelliskin was eventually born. While it’s not exactly clear when the Intelliskin shirt came about,  a California Secretary of States filing suggests that Intelliskin company was incorporated in October of 2008.

Today, Dr. Brown and his team sell a full line of support apparel from shirts and shorts to bras.

Product Cost, Shipping, and Return Policy

Cost & Shipping 

Reclosable mailer

Order is shipped in reusable returnable mailer

The cost of the Foundation shirt is  $95 plus a reasonable shipping fee of $5 for US buyers, bringing the total cost to exactly $100. Since Intelliskin is a California based company, California residents can expect to pay an additional 8% sales tax or $7.60 per shirt.

Order Here 

While playing around with their shopping cart I discovered that there are no shipping charges when you purchase two or more of these shirts. This is a perk that doesn’t seem to be advertised by the company.

Only one shipping option is offered which is USPS First Class mail. When I placed my order, the order was picked, packaged, and shipped the same day.  Amazingly, within 3 days it had arrived at my doorstep on the east coast. The length of time that it takes for an order to arrive will of course depend on several factors such as the time and day of week that the order was placed, the speed in which the post office is operating, and your location in relationship to their warehouse. While their website states a wait period of “5 to 7 business days from the time that your order is processed”, I would anticipate a 3-7 business day waiting period from the time that you place your order until arrival.

 Return & Exchange Policy 

Packaging

Shipment comes with preprinted return label for exchanges or refunds

Intelliskin has a straight-forward 100% satisfaction guarantee return policy which simplifies the decision process. Your order is automatically shipped in a returnable poly mailer along with a pre-printed return label. When you receive your order, carefully open the package while following the instructions provided on the mailer. It’s important to exercise care when opening the mailer because you may need to reuse it if you decide to return your shirt.

If you order the wrong size or are unsatisfied with your purchase, you simply repackage the shirt, slap the provided return label on top of the original label, remove the plastic strip on the package to expose the sticky adhesive, seal it up, and ship it back to the company. According to their website, your shirt will be inspected and a refund will be issued within 72 hours of receipt.

The company specifies the return period as 30 days and the shirt must be in an”unworn” state and in the “original packaging”.

The original $100 will be refunded minus the $5 shipping cost. Return shipping costs are paid for by the seller and as mentioned, they provide the packaging and label. During the return process there’s no need to hassle with contacting the company, having them issue a return merchandise authorization (RMA), printing out the label and finding a package to adhere it to.  Just stick the shirt in, seal it up, and slap the label on. Done.

Size and Color Options

The Foundation shirt is available in seven sizes and two color schemes – white & silver and black & silver.

If you are in search of results it’s crucial that you choose the correct size while ordering this product. This is an area where many are misled so I’ll try to clear things up a bit.

There’s a men’s and a women’s version of this particular shirt. The company refers to the men’s shirt as the “Foundation” where as the women’s shirt they call the “Eve“. Both the men’s and women’s style are nearly identical in appearance with the exception of the location of the product logo, length of the sleeves, and the cut of the shirt. The ladies shirt has the logo located at the bottom right of the shirt while the gentleman’s logo is located at the top left. There is also a major difference in sizing dimensions.

The men’s shirt can be purchased in seven different sizes – x-small, small, medium, large, x-large, xx-large, and xxx-large . The women’s Eve shirt is also available in the same seven sizes. The measurements below are from the manufacturers’ website and will help you choose the correct size.


Intelliskin Foundation (Men's) shirt sizing

SizeChestWeight
X-Small32"-34"100-120lbs
Small34"-37"120-140lbs
Medium37"-41"140-160lbs
Large41"-44"160-190lbs
X-Large44"-47"190-220lbs
XX-Large47"-50"220-270lbs
XXX-Large50"-55"270-320lbs

How to Measure the Men’s Size?

Measuring for the men’s foundation shirt is very easy. Simply use a fiberglass or vinyl measuring tape to take the chest measurement.

With another person’s assistance, run the tape measure across the back and under the armpits so that it’s positioned at the largest point of the chest. Ensure that the tape measure is running completely horizontal across the back and it’s not twisted or bowed.

It’s a good idea to measure with your shirt off to get the most accurate reading.

Once a chest measurement has been established, match this measurement up with your weight and then choose the corresponding size using the above chart. In some cases, your chest size and weight may not mesh with the numbers suggested in the chart. In this scenario, decide which measurement is most important,  chest size or weight and choose the shirt that best fits your body style. Keep in mind that these shirts work best when tightly fitted.

Intelliskin Eve (Women's) shirt sizing

SizeOver BustUnder BustWaistHips
X-Small30"-33"26"-28"26"-28"33"-35"
Small33"-35"28"-30"28"-30"35"-38"
Medium35"-38"30"-32"30"-32"38"-41"
Large38"-41"32"-34"32"-34"41"-44"
X-Large41"-45"34"-36"34"-36"44"-47"
XX-Large45"-47"36"-39"36"-39"47"-50"
XXX-Large47"+39"-44"39"-44"50"-53"

How to Measure the Women’s  Size?

Measuring for the Women’s Eve shirt is a little more complicated. When choosing, there are 4 measurements that must be taken into consideration – over bust, under bust, waist, and hips. Below is a brief explanation of how to measure each.

  • Over bust: Measure around the fullest part of your bust while wearing a bra.
  • Under bust: Measure underneath the fullest part of your bust while wearing a bra.
  • Waist: Measure the smallest part of the torso, between the bottom rib and the hip bone.
  • Hips: Measure around the widest point of your hips.

While taking these measurements, ensure that the tape measure runs parallel to the floor and does not bow or sag.

Compare your measurements to those listed in the above chart and choose the size that best accommodates your body style. You may have to compromise if your body shape doesn’t exactly match the measurements listed in the chart. For example, you may find that your over bust, under bust, and hips are all within range of a specific size yet your hip measurement is slightly larger than the specifications. If you were to choose this size, you can expect the upper portion to fit nicely while the hips may be a bit snug. Keep in mind that these shirts are compression fitted so they do stretch quite nicely.

Materials Used and Care Instructions

care tagThe manufacturers’ website states that the shirt is made from a “special blend of fibers”, however,  I was unable to locate any information on the actual materials used. For this info I had to turn to the materials tag on the actual shirt. This tag offered the following suggestion:

Body: 56% Nylon, 44% Lycra
Contrast 1: 91% Poly, 9% spandex

The tag further suggests that the shirt is made in the USA using imported fabrics.

Due to nature of the material, Intelliskin offers very specific washing instructions.  They recommend washing this shirt on the gentle cycle in cold water and allow it to hang dry. Do not dry clean.  Also, it should be noted that the shirt should not be ironed, as doing so will likely destroy the material.

Endorsements and Testimonials

testimonialsThe Intelliskin website displays a rather impressive list of celebrity and professional sport figures who endorse their Foundation shirts. An entire page dedicated to 21 well-known individuals who have used their products and endorse it. Among the mentioned names are Washington Nationals first baseman Greg Dobbs, actor Robert Patrick, Guns N’ Roses musician Duff Mckagan, former Washington Redskins quarterback Colt Brennan, professional golfer John Cook, as well as several others.

There are also endorsements from a few medical professionals.  A list of medical experts ranging from sports physicians to chiropractors and medical doctors are quoted and all seem to agree that this product offers numerous benefits including posture reconditioning and the treatment of injury and various conditions.  One physical therapist casually mentions that even he wears an Intelliskin shirt.

In addition to a long list of public figures and medical professionals, the company also offers testimonials from ordinary people. Among those quoted are a school teacher, police officer, hairstylist, nurse practitioner, student, and a business executive. While each testimonial varied somewhat, the general consensus seems to be that this product relieves neck, back, and shoulder pain by aligning the shoulders. Some even claim that they wear this shirt every day and have been cured of various injuries.

Amazon Reviews

amazon logoWhile the testimonials offered on the companies’ website are a helpful tool that can be used while making a decision, it is of course imperative that an informed buyer searches for feedback from sources other than the companies’ sales page.

Knowing this, I dug a little deeper to get a better understanding of what others are saying about the Intelliskin shirt. Perhaps one of the best sources for actual customer feedback is the companies’ Amazon sales page so this was were I headed next.

Intelliskin currently sells 40 different products on their Amazon store in various sizes and colors. Their line of products include series names such as the Foundation, PostureCue, Essential, Eve, Empower Aura, Reveal, and ReActivator. It’s fairly clear that their most popular product is in fact the Foundation shirt which currently has a four star rating and nearly 90 reviews dating back to August of 2012.

Overall, the vast majority of buyers gave this shirt a 4 or 5 star rating with a handful of 3 stars or less. After reading through every review, I noticed that almost every buyer who gave the Foundation shirt a lower rating seemed to have a difficult time selecting the correct size or they were not able to tolerate the tight nature of a compression fitted shirt. One thing that really stood out was the fact that there were only a couple of instances where buyers complained that the product did not work for them.

Anyone who shops frequently on Amazon understands that it’s very rare to see a product with more than a dozen reviews that has a perfect 5 star rating. Unfortunately some consumers are impossible to please and will find even the slightest issue (sometimes imaginary) with a product.

Looking at the big picture, the Foundation shirt seems to have an overwhelming amount of positive feedback from those who have purchased and used this product. Below is a fair sample of both positive and negative feedback left by verified Amazon customers:

“Arrived in 1 day with Prime. Fits rather snug, but would not want it any less so. Easy to get on and off. Wore it about 4 hours the first day and did not experience any discomfort at all. It did keep me conscious that I was wearing it and it helped me to remember to keep my shoulders back and to stand up straighter. I was surprised to find that it actually kept me cooler than a regular t-shirt. I hope this stays cool since the summers in Phoenix can reach more than 115.” –azray55

“Really good product in this market. You can feel the support instantly.” –Sean

“Great product. Provides sturdy support to my son’s neck and shoulders after 3 year injury that has caused him so much pain over the years. To hear him say that something finally helps is marvelous!” –M. Eileen Fawcett

“I had cervical spine fusion – C5-6 7 months ago. LOTS of neck and shoulder muscle pain. Much of it they tell me due to bad posture. PT told me to try this shirt even though sounds insane. Results, it WORKS! It’s the only thing that has provided me any relief in months. Highly recommended.” –Lucifer

“I normally wear a Large or an XL depending on brand. Researching this item I found that it seems to run small so I ordered a XXL. When it came I found that I could not even get it up onto my shoulders, much less zip it. If you have any size to your shoulders you should order at least 3 sizes larger than normal. It’s possible that this was mis-marked but my experience with “Euro” sizing suggests otherwise.” –Philsie

“I don’t really feel as if the material used to stimulate the proper muscles has any affect. The shirt may remind the wearer to occasionally to hold your shoulders back, but there are other more effective ways to accomplish that.” –T Wire

After taking a look over each review, I put my skepticism aside and decided to shell out the seemingly high asking price of $100 and experience this shirt for myself.

My Personal Review

Intelliskin front, side back

Take a good look at that guy in the above photo. Spare tire, flabby pecs – let’s just say a less than perfect figure. Yup, that’s me and according to the Center for Disease control, I represent nearly 70% of American men who are currently reading this review. Odds are, you too may be toting around a similar conglomerate of Twinkies, doughnuts, and double cheeseburgers in your midsection.

What am I getting at? Well, as an average (overweight) male who spends countless hours seated behind a computer desk with my neck gravitating towards the screen, I believe that the two of us just might be able to relate. You hear testimonials from athletic types who wear the Foundation shirt and they all seem to agree that it’s the best thing since sliced bread but what about the average American worker? How can our posture benefit from using this product? I felt as if this question deserved a straight answer so I ordered the Foundation and took it for a test drive.

The Arrival and Initial Fitting

As mentioned earlier, shipping took exactly 3 days from California to the east coast. The Foundation shirt arrived neatly packaged inside of a large ziplock bag. Being 6’1 and 200 lbs, I ordered an XL size.

Immediately after unpacking I had to double check the size. “This can’t possibly be an X-Large” I thought to myself. Well that’s what the tag read so I’m going with it.

My initial observation was that it seemed to be well engineered with a tapered mid section and armpit area. This shirt was obviously designed to follow the contour of your body much like a glove. The sleeves were extra long which alleviated my fears of them bunching up under my armpits. Another notable feature was the generous length of the shirt. Due to my build, I tend to have issues with most shirts rising up while bending over. It was already evident that this wasn’t going to be an issue with the Foundation shirt.

Extended sleves

Sleeves are extra long and nicely cut.

The following few seconds involved some careful maneuvering as I stretched my “intelligent second skin” as the company calls it, over my body. Strangely enough, it felt great once I had it on. The shirt was cool, silky smooth to the touch and wasn’t at all restrictive as I had imagined. The simple act of putting on the Foundation shirt suddenly left me feeling taller than I did a few seconds prior.

As the manufacturer suggested, I spent the next couple of days wearing the shirt for about an hour each day just to familiarize myself with the product before wearing it to work for an entire day.

For the next 4 weeks I spent over 200 hours putting this product to the test. A new week was quickly approaching and I was excited to see how well it was going to perform.

Front of Intelliskin Shirt

Front of Intelliskin Shirt

Intelliskin rear of shirt

Rear of Intelliskin shirt

 

The Office Test

Intelliskin rear meshThe Foundation shirt is quite swanky when worn by itself while at the gym, but in an office environment, it’s probably not the most sensible choice of attire. For this reason, I decided to wear it underneath my dress shirt in lieu of my regular undershirt.

In the early morning hours while getting ready for work, I again struggled to get the shirt on. However, once on, it felt very soothing and offered a subtle hint of elasticity in the shoulder area as I could feel it working its magic even with a loose fitting dress shirt over top.

Before long I was off to work and seated at my computer for a long 10 hour work day. At first I was unsure if it was my expectations of this shirt that was keeping me upright with my shoulders back or if the Intelliskin shirt was actually working. Regardless, I seemed to be more aware of my posture than ever before.

Several hours had passed and the work day was slowly coming to an end. I found it difficult to believe that I had spent the entire day sitting upright with my shoulders and neck aligned and not hunched over my desk as I usually do.

Front pocket logoAfter work I came home, undressed and threw the Foundation shirt into the washing machine and hung it up to dry overnight. Surprisingly, the light material was almost completely dry immediately after removing it from the washing machine.

For the next 3 days I went through the same process of putting the shirt on and wearing it to work. I continued to experience the same results and my back and shoulders started to feel less fatigued and stressed with each passing day. By the fifth day I was convinced that this shirt was really helping out my posture. However, the routine of washing and wearing the same shirt each day no longer seemed practical. The Foundation shirt appeared to be working a miracle on my neck and shoulders so I decided to invest in another shirt so that I could rotate each to reduce wear and minimize washing.

Concluding Thoughts and Recommendation

bottom lineFor a total of four weeks I put the Foundation shirt to the test and it performed better than ever anticipated. It was worn every work day for four consecutive weeks and occasionally during the weekend while exercising or working around the house.

I’ve tested several different styles of posture supports trainers and have found this shirt to be among the least restrictive, most comfortable, and best performing products available.

The sleek look, lack of straps, and ability to conceal makes this product ideal for not only athletes but every day office workers who are simply looking for a way to ease shoulder and neck pain while correcting poor posture.

Unfortunately, the price tag is rather high but is well worth it in my opinion.

The Intelliskin Foundation shirt a product that I would highly recommend to anyone in search of a practical solution to a common problem.

Order Here 

Pros vs Cons

Pros:

  • Invented by a doctor with experience in Kinesio taping
  • No straps, snaps, or buckles
  • Soft, comfortable and lightweight
  • Sewn with precision for a great fit
  • Stylish  – It can be worn by itself without embarrassment
  • Endorsed by several  celebrities and medical professionals
  • Highly rated on Amazon
  • Machine washable
  • Satisfaction guarantee – Seller offers paid return shipping and a full refund if not satisfied
  • Does a fantastic job correcting poor posture while relieving shoulder, neck and back pain

Cons:

  • At $100, it’s a bit pricey
  • Very tight fitting- takes a little while get used to
The Alignmed Posture Shirt
alignmed_creamThe Intelliskin Foundation shirt is an excellent product that helps tremendously with shoulder and back pain as well as overall posture. It’s a great choice for office workers who remain seated for several hours each day. 

A similar product called the Alignmed Posture Shirt is nearly identical in design and works using the same principles of kinesio taping. It was developed by Orange County California native Bill Schultz who created this shirt in response to back pain that he was experiencing.

Alignmed proudly claims to have introduced “The Original Posture Shirt”.The Alignmed shirt has been featured on Good Morning America as well as in several publications such as Good Housekeeping Magazine. It’s also worn by numerous athletes and endorsed by several celebrities.

  • Dozens of clinical studies- proven effectiveness
  • Recommended by over 1,400 physicians nationwide
  • Uses Neuroband technology
  • Available in 3 sizes and 4 colors
  • Comfortable spandex material
  • Made from a breathable lightweight material
  • Simply effective
  • Can be purchased for $85.50 (10% off). Click on “Visit Site” and use Promo Code PBGTEN

Take a look at my complete review of the Alignmed Posture Shirt

Still Need Help Choosing a Posture Brace?

From posture supports and resistance trainers to biofeedback shirts, there are well over 100 products that are currently being sold in stores and online. With so many to choose from, finding one that delivers can be challenging to say the least.

After evaluating over 25 of the most popular products being sold, I have created this Posture brace comparison table which assigns a ranking to each product based on criteria such as comfort, effectiveness, innovativeness, durability, and cost.

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4 Star Rating

About the Faburo Posture Support

The Faburo Posture Corrector retails for $25.95 plus shipping

The Faburo posture corrector is a one-size-fits-all unisex device that is used to help correct poor posture. It is available in your choice of two colors – black or white.

This support is fully adjustable and is designed to fit chest sizes between 26″ and 40″. It features two shoulder straps that are made from a canvas-like material which can be adjusted up to 4.75″ using the provided metal slide buckles.

The main body and the waist belt are made from an elastic neoprene type material that is soft to the touch and moderately stretchable.

A Velcro hook and loop system is sewn into the waist belt and serves as a means to fasten the support around the waist. The total length of the waist belt is 44″ although due to the nature of the material, the belt can stretch up to 50″ in length. Keep in mind that the ends of the belt must be fastened together when worn which requires at least 2″ of overlap. In other words, if your waist measurement is greater than 48″, the Faburo will likely not accommodate your body.

In addition to the primary waist closures, this product features two smaller waist pulls, one on each side, that can be adjusted by pulling on the Velcro-backed elastic band and adhering each pull to the main portion of the belt.

Also, the lower area of the posture corrector contains two ridged straps that are approximately 4.25″ long which helps to hold the lower back straight and provides additional support.

One feature that makes this product unique is a series of ten 3/4″ magnets – five are sewn into the upper area and five are sewn into the lower portion of the support. These magnets run down the center of the support in line with your spine.

According to the manufacturer, this product can be worn under your clothing or over top of a bra.

Company Information

A limited amount of information about the manufacturer is known. What we do know is that this product is made by Faburo Inc., a company based out of Brooklyn, NY.

The company sells a handful of products including their posture corrector, memory foam pillows, and microfiber mops. Sales of these products seem to be conducted primarily on Amazon. As of this writing, Faburo does not appear to have a company website.

Based on the limited amount of information that I was able to gather, this company seems to run a fairly small operation.

Fitting Process

The Faburo comes with a set of short instructions and information on the product. Unfortunately, this information seems to have been translated from a language other than English using perhaps a computer program so it doesn’t read very well. Drawing on previous experience from the use of other posture correctors and the limited information provided with the product, I was able to put together the following instructions:

  1. Start by lengthening the shoulder straps by sliding the buckles all the way down to the lower portion of the body. These straps can be adjusted later in the fitting process to provide a better fit.
  2. Loosen up the secondary elastic pulls and allow them to hang loosely.
  3. Put the Faburo on as you would a vest with the Faburo label facing in towards your back so that it’s not visible when worn.
  4. Fasten the lower belt snugly, (but not too tight) around the waist.
  5. Have an assistant adjust the buckle slides so that your shoulders are pulled back and the support fits comfortably to your body. You may have to re-position the waist belt as you make adjustments.
  6. Pull the secondary bands to a comfortable level and fasten to the exposed Velcro portion of the belt. These additional bands are used to help tighten up the waist belt and provide extra support when needed.

Adjust both shoulder straps so that they are fully extended

Put the Faburo on as you would a jacket

Fasten the primary waist pull

Fasten the secondary pulls after making adjustments to the shoulder straps

 

Size and Color

When it comes to sizing and color, the company makes the selection process simple by offering a one-size-fits-all product and two color options – black or white. As previously mentioned, it can accommodate those with a chest size of 26″ to 40″. According to my measurements, the maximum waist size is somewhere around 48″.

Price

put to testThe Faburo currently sells for $25.95 plus $7.95 shipping and handling, bringing the total cost to somewhere around $34 shipped to your doorstep. Price-wise, when compared to similar posture supports that are being sold, this product falls somewhere in the middle.
Order Here 

Material and Cleaning

washingWhile examining the Faburo, I was unable to locate a materials tag on the product nor in provided instructions. However, as mentioned earlier, the main body seems to have been created from a neoprene material while the shoulder straps appear to be made from a thick canvas material. Pieces of pleather are used to reinforce some areas where material is sewn together, such as where the shoulder straps meet the main body.

In addition, a care tag is not sewn onto the device. The instruction card provided by the manufacturer offers the following suggestions when it comes to care:

Hand wash with mild detergent, bleach if needed. Air Dry.

My Personal Review

Unpacking and Fitting

For the purpose of demonstration I tested both the black and white posture correctors. The Faburo arrived neatly folded and packed inside of a ziplock style bag along with a small card which provided some product information as well as fitting instructions.  I unboxed it and followed the instructions as outlined above.

As a guy with a fairly large chest and long arms, I found that getting into the brace required a bit of maneuvering but was definitely feasible. In my case, the support seemed to fit best with the shoulder strap slide buckles fully extended to make the shoulder straps as long as possible.

Once the support was on and the shoulder straps were adjusted, I fastened the belt portion. Subsequently, I tightened the secondary pulls and fastened them at the front.

With the support on, I could feel an immediate improvement in my posture. My shoulders were held back into the good posture position and when I started to lean forward intentionally or unintentionally, a noticeable tightness in the armpit area would occur. This tightening served as an excellent reminder to tighten up my postural muscles and correct my posture.

While wearing it for the first hour I noticed a lingering “new product” chemical smell that started to become somewhat irritating. I knew that the smell was probably the result of the manufacturing process and that washing it would remove the smell. I soaked it in hot water with soapy laundry detergent, hand washed it, and allowed it to air dry before wearing it again. This cleansing process seemed to eliminate the new product smell.

Putting the Faburo to the Test

For the next 3 weeks I put the Faburo to the test, primarily while at work.

Most of my hours at work are spent hunched over a computer desk with little to no movement throughout the day. Due to my poor posture habits, my back and shoulders are often aching by the end of each work day.

After testing the support at home both on bare skin and on top of a t-shirt, I determined that it’s much more comfortable when worn on top of a t-shirt. For the entire 3 week test period, I wore the Faburo on top of a t-shirt and under a button up dress shirt.

Which one did I wear most? The black or the white? Because I wear mostly light colored clothing while at work, I decided to go with the white which helped conceal it underneath my clothing. In addition, the black one seemed to attract more heat while in the sun.

By the way, if you are concerned about concealing this device, it’s easily concealable and very difficult to detect as long as you wear lose fitting clothing.

Performance

So how did the Faburo perform? The simple answer is “as advertised”. It kept my shoulders back and posture in line which helped to relieve back and neck soreness that I typically experience while not wearing a support.

While I did not test it very much outside of the work environment, I did wear it a few times while doing household chores such as taking out the trash, vacuuming and working around the house. In each scenario it preformed without any issues.

As for durability, over the course of 3 weeks it seemed to hold together fairly well with no visible signs of wear or tearing.

What About Those Magnets?

What about those 10 small magnets that are sewn into the support? What exactly are these used for?

While the manufacturer doesn’t offer much of an explanation on these magnets, it is assumed that these are used to relieve pain. Magnet therapy has been around for years and while some people claim that it works, others believe different.

Here’s a recent study suggesting that magnets are not an effective means to reduce pain.

My take on it is that while the idea seems very interesting, I can’t say that I noticed any difference between this brace and others that I have tried which did not have magnets. In other words, they likely provide no benefit.

The Bottom Line

VerdictThe Faburo serves a dual purpose which is to provide support and help to retrain your posture. It’s fairly comfortable to wear and works as advertised.

When it comes to comfort, style, and effectiveness, I would rate it as a middle of the road product that provides a great value.

If you are looking for a decent support that will help to get your posture back in order and are not looking to spend more than $40, this product may be for you.

Order Here 

Pros v Cons

plusPros

  • One-size-fits-all
  • Unisex
  • Effective
  • Fairly comfortable
  • Affordable
  • Concealable
  • Simple design

minusCons

  • Your chest size must be less than 40″ and waist less than 48″
  • Smelly until its washed

Still Need Help Choosing a Posture Brace?

From posture supports and resistance trainers to biofeedback shirts, there are well over 100 products that are currently being sold in stores and online. With so many to choose from, finding one that delivers can be challenging to say the least.

After evaluating over 25 of the most popular products being sold, I have created this Posture brace comparison table which assigns a ranking to each product based on criteria such as comfort, effectiveness, innovativeness, durability, and cost.

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