Years of working at a sedentary office job with long hours and stressful deadlines can take a pretty significant toll on your body.
Sitting for more than eight hours per day, for example, can put you at a higher risk for muscular skeletal disease. Slouching all day can also lead to long term illness, including breathing problems.
One startup, however, hopes its gadget will help combat some of the long term health problems that may plague 9-to-5 office workers.
The $US150 Prana, which launches at the end of January, is a tiny device you can clip to your clothing at your waistline.
It alerts you when your posture is poor or when you’re not breathing from your diaphragm.
“One very common symptom is during times of stress, our breathing will switch from natural diaphragmic breathing in the belly to chest breathing,” Andre Persidsky, CEO of Prana, told Business Insider.
Diaphragmic breathing is important because if you only breathe from your chest, the lower portion of your lungs never get a full share of oxygenated air, according to a report from Harvard Medical School. This can make you feel anxious and short of breath.
Here’s a rendering of what the Prana looks like. It resembles a circular badge or button.
Prana’s device is designed to make you aware of these times when you’re not breathing through your diaphragm. The gadget itself sits at your waistline to monitor your breathing patterns and alerts you with a small buzz or smartphone notification when you need to adjust your breathing.
The accompanying app comes with a library of various breathing techniques that are catered to different goals. For example, if you want to feel more energized, you might try one technique, while another may be more ideal for helping you sleep better.
Persidsky also said the app will come with a casual game aimed at helping you maintain control of your breath. You would control the “Flappy Bird”-like game, which consists of navigating a bird flying through a garden, with your breathing pattern while wearing the device. Here’s what it looks like:
The Prana isn’t the only wearable device to tackle the issues of posture and breathing properly, but it claims to be one of the first that can monitor both. The Lumo Lift, for example, is a similar clip-on gadget that help you fix your posture throughout the day. But it doesn’t include comprehensive breathing exercises like the Prana does.