If you've ever sat in a classroom or worked in an office then you'll know all about the importance of good posture, but maintaining a straight back and square shoulders can be a tough habit to form. UpRight is a wearable device that sticks to your lower back, delivering a gentle vibration when that perfect posture slips into a harmful slouch.
While lower back pain can have a variety of causes, poor posture is one of the most common culprits. Already there are a number of wearable devices available – such as the Lumoback
and iPosture pendant
– that detect when the user’s posture is improper, and alert them to the situation so they can correct it. The new Lumbia is one other product that performs this service, although it also provides data to therapists to assist in the treatment of back problems.
When you think of smartphone accessories, images of Otterboxes
, camera lenses
, and health monitors
may dance through your head. Smartphones can also, however, be used to change habits. Startup Lumo BodyTech hopes to do just that, with the Lumoback posture-correcting gizmo.
The soft, collagen-rich shock absorbers in our backs, known as intervertebral discs, both add to our height (a full quarter of the spinal column's total length) and cushion our vertebrae from contacting one another. Unfortunately, aging, accidents and overuse can damage them and lead to the costly phenomenon of chronic back pain – roughly US$100 billion is spent annually on treatment in the U.S. alone. Replacement
of damaged discs, rather than spinal fusion, is an option that's growing in popularity, especially because it helps maintain mobility in the spine. Now, a team from Brigham Young University (BYU) has unveiled their new artificial disc, a compliant mechanism that they believe has the potential to restore quality of life to millions of those with injured spines.
Researchers have created a biologically based spinal implant they say could someday provide relief for the millions of people suffering lower back and neck pain. Instead of removing damaged spinal discs – a surgery known as a discectomy – and fusing the vertebrate bones to stabilize the spine in patients diagnosed with severe degenerative disc disease, or herniated discs, the artificial discs could be used to replace damaged discs, performing better than current implants that are made from a combination of metal and plastic.
Industrial Design student Justine Smith has looked to new technology for a solution to one of the most common ailments in the world today – chronic back pain. The result is Spinovo – a concept smart clothing product that uses modular packs to treat pain through heating, cooling, and transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) therapies as well as incorporating bend sensors to ensure the wearer maintains the correct posture.
As a person who isn’t getting any younger - and finds himself behind a desk for most of the day - I am starting to appreciate the advice of teachers and parents imploring me to sit up straight. Now that my school days are behind me and I live alone, my back is constantly reminding me that there’s no one left to admonish me for my terrible posture. The USB Posture Alert Reminder could be just what I need to get my spine back on the straight and narrow.