CF Reviews

Excruciatingly Honest Opinions About Health and Fitness Products.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

iPosture Review and Giveaway


Have any of you folks ever come across a candid picture of yourself, and thought: "Acccck, that's awful! Who is that sad, hunched-over creature who looks so meek and schlumpy? It can't be me, can it?

Even pretty models are apparently not immune:

It's very sad. Should we hold a fundraiser?


If you're like me, this a depressingly familiar occurrence. You cringe at the evidence; you straighten up the best you can, and try to convince yourself that this was just a temporary "slip." From now on you will hold yourself in a graceful erect position and stop that lazy slouching for all eternity!

And then ten seconds later you forget and you're slouching again.

I know bad posture can lead to back and neck problems, and I have actually tried to work on it myself. I've done stretches and upper body exercises at the gym. I've gone on campaigns of trying to remind myself to check and correct my posture more frequently. But I have such a tiny brain, this never works! The best I can do is remember for a minute or two, and then it's back to the usual slouch-fest.

So when I saw review at Workout Mommy of a wearable gizmo that promised to vibrate when I slumped and would act as "my own personal posture coach," I thought: Heck yes! Sign me up! Slap me upside the head (in a discreet, kind, loving way) whenever you catch me hunching over like Quasimodo! Lord knows I can't do it on my own.

So I got the kind folks at iPosture folks to send me one to review. I tried it... and overall, I think it's great! You can learn more about it at the iPosture website. But here's my report:

What it Is and What it Does:

The iPosture is a little disc, just over one inch in diameter. It's sort of the size of a campaign button (the tasteful kind, not the big goofy kind), although it's a bit thicker. The iPosture "automatically senses when the body slouches, and it alerts the user with brief vibrations to correct it."

You wear the gizmo somewhere in your chest area. You can use little sticky things (included), wear it as a "stylish" pendant (ha ha ha), or clip it to your bra or a form-fitting shirt.


I used the bra option. Guys: you probably don't want to use that particular method.

You then stand up (or sit up) straight, set the posture you'd like it to remember, then hit a button. If you slouch for more than 60 seconds, the iPosture vibrates. If you're stubborn or distracted and don't correct your posture, the iPosture will nag alert you again with two vibrations in another 60 seconds.

What you can't do with the iPosture:

Wear it exercising (other than walking around), bathe with it on, wear it swimming, or even sweat a whole bunch. The thingy doesn't like to get wet. Also, you can't wear it sleeping--for those of you who might otherwise be tempted to wake yourself up every sixty seconds all night long.


Things I really like about it:

1. In most situations, it seems to work really well! You forget you have it on, start to slump, and it reminds you to straighten up again.

Theoretically, after a few weeks of wearing it 4 hours a day you're supposed to start self-correcting more naturally, so you wear it less, and just use it to check that you're still not slouching and have learned your lesson.

I've only been doing it a couple days, so can't report on long-term success. But while I'm wearing it, I'm definitely spending much less time slouching.

2. Sensible instructions: they advise you not to set your "ideal" posture too strictly, and not exceed the 4 hours a day. The idea is you allow your body to gradually adjust and build up the necessary muscles. I was a bit sore after wearing it for way more than four hours (because of course I ignored their advice). My previous attempts at self-correction never worked well enough for me to actually feel sore, so this seemed like a good thing!

3. The 60-second requirement keeps the thing from going off unless you're settling in for a real slouch, not just bending over to do something. So when it does go off you're more likely to notice and pay attention.

4. Easy to use: it came with a battery already installed, and was easy to set up. And it has a "sleep" mode if you want it to leave you alone for 15 minutes while you're still wearing it.

Dire but Amusing Safety Warnings:

Watch out that you don't lose control of the springy metal clip and nail someone in the eye with it! You are also cautioned not to expose the battery to excessive heat or short-circuit it, or the whole thing could explode. (An exploding posture monitor, on the other hand, would REALLY get your attention. You'd probably never slouch again in your life--once you got out of the hospital.

But of course my favorite: "The iPosture is for external use only."


Things I Wasn't as Crazy About:

1. Sometimes it didn't seem to be quite vigilant enough. This was probably user-error. But there were times I'd realize I'd started to slouch, and felt like it had been well longer than a minute, but I hadn't gotten a vibration. Or perhaps I did but didn't notice it? This mostly happened while I was outside walking, or sitting in a soft chair or car seat. Perhaps it's less able to catch slumping in these situations. But in my normal desk chair, or standing, it seemed to work just fine.

2. Battery life: It came with two extra batteries, so this may not be a big deal. But it looks like it's designed for you to learn to correct your posture pretty fast--each battery is only supposed to last 3 weeks, even with the attenuated wearing schedule. Being pessimistic, and having had this problem my entire life, I'll be surprised if I'm "fixed" in a matter of weeks. If I'm not, I may be needing to buy some more.

3. Advertising: Just like the poor model above with her imaginary belly pooch, there are a lot of claims along the lines of "trim your waist now," or "trim love handles and belly bulges naturally," "look younger and sexier." I suspect that this approach is probably effective; I just personally found the magic weight-loss emphasis a turn-off.

But these are little quibbles. Overall, I'm psyched to have found something that will help me learn to straighten up and fly right! And while I'm glad to have scored a freebie review model (hooray!), I'd actually pay for one of these things with my own money.


How Can You Win One?

1. Have a U.S. mailing address.
Sorry, I always feel bad about this.

2. Leave a comment on this post about why you might want an iPosture for yourself or for a slouchy significant other before Tuesday night, Feb 24, 6pm East Coast Time /9pm Pacific. A Random Number Generator will pick a winner, which I'll post on the main Cranky Fitness page sometime Wednesday, Feb 25. Winner must send an email with your name and mailing address to Crabby McSlacker at Gmail dot com (you know how to put the address back together, right?) by midnight Saturday Feb 28 or another Random Drawing will be held.

Sorry again, non US folks! For anyone else who's a slouch like me: good luck!

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  • I am desperate for one of these things! All of my friends say I slouch too much.

  • Oh man, this would be perfect for me. I have a tendency to just slump in front of my computer for hours at a time - and I wonder why my neck hurts! I think it'd be the right mix of not having to think without tuning out completely.

  • I'd love one of those! I slouch all the time, and like you, I have tried to correct my posture but it doesn't last. I suffer from backache a lot because of my posture.

  • My mom STILL tells me "don't slouch"... so I could probably use it. :p My bf even more so... he's over 6 foot, and yet he's almost the same height as me with his slouch! He blames it on me, says it's because he needs to lean down to hear me speak! haha :p

  • This slouchmistress NEEDS one! Really. It might be my only hope for decent posture before I die.

    I tried asking Santa for good posture for Christmas, but he didn't deliver. Guess he hadn't heard about the iPosture device!

  • Wow - seeing this little device is a revelation. You may as well call me McSlouch. I've been slouching since I was an awkward teen. When I was 13, my teacher used to tease me in front of the whole class about my poor posture. I now catch myself with hunched shoulders several times a day. I try to imagine I'm balancing a book on my head, but that lasts for about 10 minutes, and I worry I look as haughty as a Sense & Sensibility character...it's no way to live. I also need that precious thought time to fantasize about cupcakes...

  • You know how you're supposed to be able to recognize when someone used to be a dancer, because of the way they carry themselves? Well I took 13 years of dance lessons as a kid, and I still slouch like a bored supermodel, if supermodels were short with big thighs. Maybe if I used the iPosture someone would ask me if I used to dance...

  • Not sure I need one like I need my morning coffee, but that dadratted thing might come in handy. I've been lifting and running for three years now, and I still have problems with letting my shoulders roll in and my back round. *sigh* That's led to problems with shoulder pain and arm pain, since I'm exacerbating an old RSI problem.

    If I'm runner-up, could you have a little grey-haired granny (like my own, late, lamented one) come over to follow me around, yelling at me to stand up straight?

  • I don't know.

    If I started vibrating in staff meetings, I may start getting some strange looks...

  • I really need this. Just reading about it made me sit up straighter!

  • I wonder if you can attach them to teenagers that gawk at a TV or video screen and set the vibration strong enough to get them to move away from the glow of the screen.

    Small giveaway on my site today too.

  • I need this bad. And quick because my back is killing me.

  • I've got good posture. I think it's from all the yoga.

  • Oh Magic Random Number Generator.. Pick me! Pick me! between slouching in front of the computer, and every time I nurse the baby.. I SO need this! :)

  • As I am only 5'0", and have a tendency to slouch, I could really use this. I need every inch I can get!

  • I have one of these built in to my back - it's called the muscle underneath my shoulder blade (and yes that is the technical term). Whenever I've been slouching for awhile this muscle reminds me QUITE CLEARLY that I need to straighten up and fly right. I would love to give my back muscle a rest by using one of these things, so please Oh Great RNG, pick me!!!

  • My husband and I both slouch (sadly), and since you're only supposed to use this thingy for 4 hours, we can easily share. If we win, our backs will thank you!

  • While I've made other changes in my life to become more healthy (including losing half my body weight) I'm still struggling with "standing up straight" in order to complete the picture - improve breathing, and self-confidence. I'm a believer in low-intrusive aids to help remind me of what I'm trying to accomplish - this seems like an awesome product, something I need!

  • When I first heard about this product, I thought it was another one of those ways to seperate someone from their money. Glad to hear it has a Crabby Approval seal!

  • I so wish I could win one of these.

  • I want them to stop calling me Slouchy McBenderson. It's so humiliating! Please help me. - SMcB

  • Oh, that sounds fabulous! I'm in the same boat - no amount of self-correcting has gotten the habit down. This would be incredibly helpful! My doctor's been at me to correct my posture to try and stop my unexplained headaches as well.

    I didn't even know something like this existed!

  • Huh. This looks interesting. I'm also a posture slack. And self-reminding doesn't seem to work. So sign me up!

    (How well's it work while you're sitting at a desk?)

  • I think I'm okay at standing up straight (Pilates helps with that) but I'm a total sloucher when sitting at my desk. Especially at home. I have the world's oldest desk chair and, much to my husband's irritation, I'm loathe to get rid of it. Maybe if I had this thing I'd realize how bad that chair is for me, I'd buy a new one, and our marriage would be saved!

  • I need this, too. I always end up with lower back pain by the end of the day, from slouching. Thanks!

  • Interesting post, I wonder how it would handle my tendency to round my shoulders?

  • This would be great! Entered!

  • this looks really cool. i tried a wearable brace thing as i was working on strengthening the muscles that support my posture (for me its a muscle imbalance that developed into a slight kyphosis) but over time it totally stretched out and stopped working. i try to be mindful of posture, but its hard. how cool that they make a device to help correct that.

  • Am I the only one who, when I first saw this, thought "Yeehaw! A device that is magically going to perfect my posture." But your description sounds like it's just an alert system, and I'm still the one who has to do the actual work of sitting up straight-- soooo disappointing. Still. It sounds like it would beat the alternative solution: moving in with my parents and dealing with their "Sit up straight, young lady!" every 60 seconds.

  • That actually sounds like it could work. I think I have almost decent posture, but that's not quite enough, is it?

    Is there an age limit on it? My almost eleven year old daughter looks kind of like the hunched over model. She's gorgeous, except that she looks like she's crumpled in on herself.

  • My goodness, I could definitely use one of those. I'm only 26, but I get shoulder and upper back pain from using a computer all day, and I KNOW a huge part of it is because I slump over when I'm being lazy. I feel better when I sit up straight with my feet on the floor like a normal human being, but it's so easy to back slide into "flop over into a ball" mode when I don't think about it.

  • Bdaiss--sitting at my desk it works really well. You can re-set it really easily for standing or sitting--just press the button in the position you want to hold. I'm really pleased so far!

  • I slouch.
    I especially notice it in the car. I used to be so hot lookin - driving around. I'd get stared at all the time. Honked at, high fived, whistled. Now...forget it. They can barely see my forehead above the window. If I don't win an IPosture thingie, I'm going to use a pile of phone books.

  • Awesome little gadget. I am a horrible sloucher...especially in my desk chair at work.

  • Crabby -- I really appreciated your comment on the support group post. I know those chicks are bitches.
    hahaaha

  • Sounds like a nifty thing to have :)

  • This sounds like a better approach then having my husband poke me at regular intervals when he catches me (mainly because he knows that spot I am most ticklish in).

  • I really need one of these! I have terrible posture (probably due in part to my overdeveloped chestular region). I think it would definitely help to have the reminder!

  • Isn't modern technology wonderful! Hey these would be great little teaching tools for my voice students, some of whom try to sing with their chests all caved in.

  • Hmmmm. A discreet little gadget that vibrates and gets your attention. I like it! Like the earlier comment, though, I think I'll be getting some strange looks in the morning staff meetings. I'm in!

  • I want to try that thing so badly! I really gotta come to the US... I TRY to have good posture, but sometimes the posture doesn't agree with me. :D

  • I would LOVE to win one of these. My posture stinks and having something remind me everytime I slouch might really make a difference.

  • I would love it because I'm pretty worried about my back since I slouch and have a large chest.

  • I want this thing!

    ~thanks~

  • Just this morning I said to Michael, PLEASE tell me when I'm slouching. I'm thinking that one of these might be a lot more effective though.

    Plus I think that I need more things that start with i. iPod. iTouch. iFlounder. iNeedaLife.

  • As I started reading this I realized I was slouched over my desk. This cubicle monkey really needs something to remind me to sit up straight!

  • Don't enter me in the contest as this seems like one of those things that I would think is really cool but then always forget to use. But I did want to say your review cracked me up!

  • Oh man, I have terrible posture that leads to neck and back pain. I've tried lots of things to fix it, but maybe this would work! :)

  • This sounds like a GREAT way to help neck and back pain! Yay! Hope I get picked!! :)

  • Okay can I just tell you that I have wanted one of these for months--it was top priority on my christmas list because my new years resolution was to have better posture. So my mom ordered it a bit late, and since it wouldn't make it in time for Christmas, had it sent direct to me. Come oh, FEBRUARY it still hadn't come, despite the fact that she was charged and received an email that it had shipped. She called them and said, Oops, sorry, here's a refund! So I still don't have one. Meanwhile, I've been bedridden for a week with lower back and hip pain that I am pretty sure was caused by my crappy posture, and I am bitter that I have not been able to achieve my resolution just yet. I'm very bitter about this.

  • I really need one of these. My posture is horrible!

    said Christina on February 20, 2009 at 3:26 PM
  • Ooh, one of these would be awesome!

  • This amazing iPosture was made for me!!! You see, I'm not over weight - I'm actually under height! So if I could learn to not slouch, I probably would be two inchs taller and would look so so so much thinner!!! I NEEED an iPosture soon!!!

  • I love how every time I read the word 'posture' in this post, I realized that I was slouching again. Please help me with this problem... I don't have the money to spare to buy it!

    said Kristie Lynn on February 20, 2009 at 6:30 PM
  • I would love to have this. I'm totally slouchy.

    Cammi99

    said Anonymous on February 20, 2009 at 6:41 PM
  • I saw this on the Doctors and would love this since I suffer from back pain due to scoliosis. My shoulders are starting to hunch forward and I'm just 30 years old. I was taught to be reserved so standing straight up always meant to me that I was looking proud. Now I know that feeling good about yourself is good for the soul. Take care everyone.

    said housewifeheather on February 20, 2009 at 7:22 PM
  • This might actually give me the feedback I need to perk up my posture!

  • I have been haviong a lot of neck pain because of my bad computer posture, so maybe this will help me

  • This blog was recently featured on SweepsAdvantage.com. Check out some of our new sweepstakes! www.sweepsadvantage.com/new.php

    Good luck to everybody who enters the contests!

  • My upper back is screaming at me to enter and get a chance to get such a helpful gadget -- I don't always listen to my back but this time I will.

  • This sounds too good to be true. I've been working on this issue as long as I can remember. No one understands that it isn't an issue of 'just standing up straight'. I'm not lazy. I hope it helps and I hope I get to try for free.

  • Count me in - although I'm a little less excited that it's for external use only.

    said Anonymous on February 21, 2009 at 7:33 AM
  • I spend a lot of time in front of the computer, and have the worst posture! I would love this thing to remind me to sit up straight.

  • I want one!!! I tend to slouch a lot and would love to see if it helps me. Better yet, once I'm cured, I could use it on my son and maybe save him a lifetime of slouching related problems. At twelve, it seems like he doesn't do ANYTHING in an actually upright position!

  • hi - I've been going to PT for whiplash and my neck hurts all the time. My PT person said I won't get better if I don't fix my posture. I NEED this!!

    thx.

  • That sounds that a wonderful device. I am a terrible slouch and I'm short so that is not good.
    I hope I get picked.

  • I have been slouching my whole life and rarely think to correct my posture. It's hard for me to remember to maintain good posture, so I really think that this will help me! :) Thank you so much for offering this giveaway! eyeslikesugar [at] gmail [dot] com

  • I have horrible, horrible posture that I've been trying to correct over the past year and failing. Something like this could make a huge difference for me!

  • This sounds really interesting. I've never heard of it before. I tend to slouch whenever I'm at a desk (which is unfortunately more than I'd like), so I think this would be really great to try.

  • I manage to ignore the Post-its I put up about watching my posture, so this would be great. I'm trying everything I can to avoid surgery for my TM disc displacement problems (mostly for vanity's sake because it's supposed to leave Franken-scars on both sides of my face, which, believe me, has enough going against it.)

    Also, I once lost a decent role in a college musical because I slouched so much they said I, "couldn't carry the costume." And you know what they say about revenge being a dish best served so many years later that I can't remember the name of the play or the beanpole who took my part.

    Vibration is an added bonus, of course.

  • Must have for my slouchy BF. He spends 8 hours in front of a computer at work then another 8 at home (silicon valley boys, what can ya do!) and he thinks it keeping your back straight "hurts". Yes, he is in dire need of this baby!

  • Pick me please. I am a terrible slump

  • I'm so glad you reviewed this. I have embarrassingly bad posture - I'm actually self-conscious because people tell me EVERYWHERE. Friends, not really my friends, COWORKERS (that's the worst). Please consider me for the giveaway. :)

  • My children have excellent posture -- especially my 6'2" tall daughter. I, on the other hand, look twice as old as I am because I tend to hunch. I want to literally stand (and sit) up tall and be proud!

  • I have a 10-year old daughter with horrible posture and all the nagging in the world doesn't seem to help. Perhaps this would help with her posture. Little girls could use all the boosts in confidence they can get and the research indicates that those with better posture have more confidence. I'd love you win a free iposture!

  • Found a coupon for $10 off: IWANT$10

  • Pretty neat. Would be very good for my slouchy work cube posture.

  • i heard about this product on another site and it looks really cool! I'm in class all day just slouching away so this would be really great for me to have, i always go home with a sore back because i was slouching through painting class again.

  • The one time I got to go to a chiropractor he was doing his exam, and he said I stand with pretty nice posture. Who knew? Then he had me sit, and he visibly cringed. Apparently my sitting posture is atrocious. Oops. So this would probably help a lot since I don't even realize I'm doing it.

    Oh, as a side note - your times are backwards. It should be 9 eastern and 6 pacific (I assume, anyway). :)

  • Lisa, The IWANT$10 worked! Thank you SO much for posting this code. I just ordered one.

    said BarbaraF51 on March 4, 2009 at 5:50 AM
  • Unfortunately, I believe I am too late to enter the iPosture giveaway, but I am in desperate need of one of these devices. I have had neck pain since August that radiates to my head. I've been to a chiropractor, physical therapist, neurologist and neck and back specialist. After having a CT scan, neck x-rays, and even an MRI, they have determined the problem is muscular. I'm thankful the problem is only muscular, but it is still a "pain in the neck." The neck speicialst said that I spend too many hours in the same spot (in front of a computer) and I slouch too much. Sadly enough, I was impacted by a layoff on Feb. 25th, and now I am having to save money just to utility bills. I think the iPosture device would be very beneficial for me as my muscles are trained to slouch. Since I have been out of work, the pain is not as severe, but it is definitely not going away. Any advice or are you having another give away anytime soon? Any users who are ready to sell theirs? Please let me know. I am desperate to get rid of this pain. It has been constant for 8.5 months! Thanks in advance!

  • I'm so sorry to hear about your neck pain--sure wish we had more giveaways, but afraid we don't.

    The iPosture works mainly as a frequent reminder to straighten up--so I'm thinking one possibility might be to manually set a timer or alarm for every five minutes or so to remind yourself to correct your posture. Not nearly as elegant a solution, I'm afraid. Sure wish I could help!

  • Thank you for the tip. It certainly can't hurt to try setting a timer. :)

  • I just found out about this little doohickey today in an old Oprah magazine I was leafing through. I SO need something like this. I have always had terrible posture and I've tried all the straps and harness thingies to correct it and I could never stand them. This sounds like it would be wonderful.

    I see that I'm far too late for your giveaway, but I'm a blogger too. Any advice on someone I can contact at Iposture so I can get one to review on my own blog? I'd gladly give them some lovin' if it works for me.

  • I definitely need to work on my posture!! Due to my small frame and large chest, my slouch seems to be a quick fix for pain but really screws up my back and shoulders in the end. Most of my family slouches as does my boyfriend, so maybe I'll be a positive influence and we'll all stand up straight soon enough!!

  • I need this! I've tried exercising, but sitting in front of a computer all day at work and then coming home to *more* computer work has not improved my "book worm" slouch.

    My dad STILL tries to uncurl my shoulders when I visit him! The thing is, if I knew I was slouching, I would work to correct it, but I'm so used to it I don't even realize I have bad posture.

    said Heather on February 1, 2011 at 6:31 AM

Welcome!


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