This smart gadget aims at improving your posture in less than one month, but the best thing about it was also the most annoying

The Upright Go sticks on your spine just below your neck. Photo: Daniella Brandy

I have pretty terrible posture. Despite being short, I tend to slouch and I often have back pain after sitting at my desk for long periods of time.

So when I heard that there was a gadget that claimed to improve your posture in 27 days, I jumped at the chance to give it a go.

Screenshot of the Upright Go app

Upright Go is a smart gadget that you stick on your skin between your shoulder blades using supplied adhesives. It connects to an app on your smartphone via Bluetooth, that can actively train you to improve your posture, or track your posture.

In “training” mode, when you slouch, the gadget vibrates to remind you to correct your posture. In “tracking” mode, it doesn’t vibrate, but tracks your posture and records the results in the app.

For the first few days, I set the gadget to “train”.

When calibrating the device for the first time, you need to ensure you do so with correct posture. For this reason, I’d suggest getting someone else to check it, or look in the mirror as you set it.

After a few days, I became more confident in my ability to maintain good posture, so I would set the gadget to “train” for the morning, then “track” for the afternoon.

You can wear it at most times of the day, although I had to take it off when exercising as it fell off when I perspired.

At $149.95, it costs roughly the same as two chiropractic appointments. It charges through a USB cord that is supplied in the box.

Here’s what I thought of the Upright Go after using it for a month.

The good

The tracking aspect was the most interesting feature of the gadget. The longer you wear it, the more accurate the tracking becomes, and sets you goals for the following day based on the data.

As a result of wearing the gadget, I feel like I’m more aware of my posture, and make more of an effort to walk and sit straighter. It’s also inspired me to reconfigure my work desk to be more ergonomic.

The bad

The most annoying thing about the Upright Go is that it’s distracting, and it couldn’t differentiate when I was genuinely bending down to pick up or reaching over to grab my tea.

When the vibration noise, which sounded like a phone buzzing on the desk, became too disruptive I set it to track rather than train, despite that not being its intended use.

I also had back pain in muscles I had not experienced before. I’m told this is a side effect of using stablising muscles that I wasn’t activating before, and that the longer I wear the gadget, the stronger my core supporting back muscles would become.

Also, on the lowest/ shortest vibration setting I couldn’t even feel it. I had to set it to the longest vibration setting, which also seemed to drain the battery — which can last up to two days — more quickly.

When I wore my hair down, you couldn’t see the gadget. But as you can see in the photo, when I had my hair up, the gadget was quite conspicuous on my back and I was asked on a number of occasions what it was.

The verdict

Despite some of the irritating aspects of wearing the gadget, it was necessary in order for it to achieve its desire effect.

The more it buzzed and the more annoying the buzzing was, the more vigilant I was at maintaining a good posture. Over the course of a few days, it buzzed less each day, which meant that it was working.

Although I initially had some pain after using the gadget the first few times, my back muscles became stronger and stopped hurting after about a week.

The Upright Go could be a good short-term posture trainer for those who experience mild back pain, or need a helping hand to correct their posture.

Along with an ergonomic desk setup, this could be an affordable option for many people who just need small reminder during their day to improve their posture.

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