3.75 Star Rating
The Basics of the Iposture
In this day in age where newer electronic devices are quickly replacing old tried-and-true products, it’s not surprising to see a shift in interest from traditional posture supports to wearable electronic posture coaches. The Iposture is a great example of this phenomena. It solves the age-old problem of poor posture using a 21st century approach.
In years past, those with poor posture would often turn to a posture brace or support as a solution. While such products may serve as an effective means to correct bad posture, they often restrict movement and can actually weaken the muscles that are responsible for posture with prolonged use.
Take one look at this half dollar sized device and it’s easy to see that this product is not a posture brace at all. Instead, it’s a posture coach that can be worn on top of or discretely underneath your shirt. It can be attached to your shirt, bra strap, adhered directly to your skin or worn as a necklace pendant. Being a coach, it’s primary function is to monitor your posture and send out an alert if your posture deviates from the “good posture” position. The alert is a gentle vibration that reminds you to sit up and resume proper posture. Once proper posture is resumed, the vibration alert stops and then it continues to monitor your posture.
Dr. Moacir Schnapp and Dr. Elma Schnapp, a husband and wife team, created the Iposture to help their patients who suffer from poor posture. Dr. Moacir Schnapp currently operates Mays & Schnapp, a pain clinic and rehabilitation center in east Memphis Tennessee while his wife is also a physician who specializes in physical rehabilitation. Together, they designed and brought the Iposture to market in 2008.
Since its release, this product has captured the attention of several television shows and publications including Shape Magazine, Oprah’s “O” magazine, and NBC’s The Doctors Show. Overall, the media seems to have painted a fairly positive picture of the Iposture with glowing reviews.
Product details – How it works
Before using this device, you must first decide how to wear it. The Iposture works best when worn on the upper chest, near the collar bone. As mentioned, there are several different ways that it can be worn. Let’s talk a little about the advantages and disadvantages of each way.
- As a pendant – The device can be worn on a necklace as a pendant which is arguably stylish yet makes an undeniably great conversation piece. The disadvantage of wearing it this way is the fact that it can sway around, causing a false reading of your posture position.
- On a bra strap- Clipping the device onto a bra strap seems to be the ideal way to wear this product because it remains close to the body and allows you to conceal it. Unfortunately, this option is only available to female wearers which eliminates this option for all (non bra wearing) males.
- Directly on skin- Another option that would be effective is to stick it directly to you skin, preferably near the collar bone allowing you to conceal the monitor. There are at least a few disadvantages of this method, the first having to do with body hair. If you are a hairy guy, you will either have to either shave a spot on your chest or sacrifice a few hairs ever time you use the adhesive pads. Furthermore, the adhesive may irritate your skin after prolonged use.
- Clipped to clothing- This seems to be a great option for both men and women. The downside is that you must be wearing a form fitted shirt and not loose fitted clothing. Without a tightly fitted shirt, the sensor will not be able to properly function because it will loosely move around on your clothing.
Once you have established the best way to wear the device, simply put it on and you’re almost ready to start using it.
Before putting the Iposture to work, it must first be set while sitting up in the ideal posture position. Stand in front of a mirror while assuming the good posture position with your chin up, back straight and shoulder back. Once in this position, press once on the device until you receive one vibration which is simply a confirmation.
From here, if the sensor detects movement of three degrees or more for a length of time that is sixty seconds or more, you will receive a warning notification which will remind you to return to good posture. If you fail to return to using good posture, the device will vibrate twice every 60 seconds until your posture returns to normal.
It’s a good idea to frequently set the ideal posture throughout the day as you switch between sitting and standing. This ensures that the device remains properly calibrated.
The manufacturer suggests wearing their product for at least four hours per day for the first one to two weeks which should train you to becoming accustomed to using good posture for the majority of each day. Thereafter, use the device every two to three days to maintain the habit of good posture.
You will notice an immediate difference in your posture after the first day of use which should get progressively better as time goes on.
Turn the monitor off by simply laying it down flat or pressing and holding the button for three seconds while wearing. By pressing and holding the button, it goes into “sleep mode” which lasts for 15 minutes. After this time period it will wake up on its own as indicated by two short vibrations.
This device uses a large button style battery (model number CR2032) which should last up to three weeks, depending on use.
Of course, the more often that you slouch, the more often you activate the vibrating alert, the faster the battery will drain. I would anticipate that the battery life would be shortened dramatically when first used because a beginners posture will be sub-par. As time goes on and posture improves, the alert should activate less often and the life of the battery should be considerably longer.
The manufacturer provides a tool which can be used to remove the battery cover, making battery replacement easier.
Industry wide, the Iposture appears to be competitively priced with the other electronic posture coaches that are available.
How can I get one?
According to the manufacturer’s website, the only way to get an Iposture is to order one directly from their site. However, after speaking with the manufacturer, it seems as if they have run into production issues and are not currently offering any units for sale. I will update this section when I’m aware of the company offering this product for sale once again. Thus far, it’s been several weeks so don’t expect anything anytime soon.
Alright, down to business.
The concept of the Iposture is very appealing and would be an effective way to retrain your posture without using a brace or strength training system. Unfortunately, as with any other products, it does have its limitations.
Battery replacement – Perhaps the greatest drawbacks of this product is the fact that the batteries must be replaced frequently, as in about every 3 weeks. A two pack of these batteries retails for around $4.50, or $2.25 each. If you were to replace the battery every three weeks, you would go through 17 batteries per year at a cost of $2.25. Annually, this equates to a whopping $38.00 per year. That being said, a rechargeable version of the device would be more appealing.
EZ Sticks replacement – If you decided to use the “EZ Sticks” to adhere the device directly to your body, these will need to be replaced on a daily basis. I was unable to locate a sales page on their website where they sell replacement EZ Sticks so I have no idea how much they cost or how many come in a pack. Nonetheless, it’s one more thing to continuously order and pay for.
Clothing – As with all other posture coaches that are worn on your clothing, you are limited to the type of clothing that can be worn in order for the product to work correctly. As mentioned earlier, loose fitted clothing could allow the sensor to position itself in such a way that is not relative to your body position, thereby falsely activating an alert.
No tracking – Similar product are now available for about the same price that perform the same functions as well as track and store your overall progress. This information is then synced to your smartphone so that you can keep track as your posture improves.
Aside from the four mentioned limitations, the Iposture appears to be a useful product that can effectively retrain poor posture without the use of bulky and uncomfortable braces. While newer, more high-tech devices such as the Lumo Lift have recently emerged and have taken such posture coaches to the next level, this product would still be a good choice for those who are not interested in the extra bells and whistles and don’t mind the additional cost of often battery replacements.