2022-04-19 09:04:39 By : Ms. Joan Zhang

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I always knew I slouched a little. I’m not outrageously tall at 5-feet and 7-inches, but I've always been the tallest of my friends at school (and my older siblings). Instinctively, I often drop my shoulders so as to not tower over everyone.

However, I started noticing my hunched outline about a year ago in several photos, and I didn't like the way I looked. But it felt too hard a habit to break. I was hunching over my laptop while I worked, hunching over my phone after work, and generally slouching no matter what I was doing, like Igor from Young Frankenstein.

There's more to it than looking bad; I've dealt with back pain for several years now. After a backache that was so bad I ended up in the ER, it was time to do something about my poor posture. Forcing myself to straighten up on my own wasn't working, so I started testing a few popular methods recommended from around the web—braces, shirts, and a DIY shoulder brace using a yoga strap—but the Upright Go 2 has been the standout among them all (and unfortunately, the most expensive).

The Upright Go 2 is a small, rectangular device you stick to your back. Don't worry, it doesn't use electric shocks or anything of the kind. Instead, it gently vibrates when it detects your posture shifting for the worse. It's almost like someone tapping your shoulder—it's just annoying enough that you'll straighten your back and sit properly.

It works. After a few days of wearing it, I was more conscious of my posture even when I didn't have the tiny device stuck to my back.

The Go 2 is a smaller version of its predecessor (which I haven't tried). It's dead simple to set up with the companion app and easy to use. You pair it with your phone via Bluetooth, and place it on your back using either an adhesive strip or a necklace.

I prefer using the necklace, which more or less is a USB-C cord covered in sturdy silicone connected to the Go 2. The ends at the front are magnetic so it's easy to remove at a moment's notice, and because you aren't wearing this 24 hours a day, you don't have to repeatedly deal with sticky strips. The downside is that it doesn't look flattering, almost as though you're wearing wearable neck speakers.

It's also bafflingly not included, but a $20 separate purchase. It does make it the more affordable way to go in the long run, since a 10-pack of adhesives costs $10 and you'll likely need several down the road, even if each one can last between three and 10 uses.

During setup, the app (which works on Android and iOS) gives you a few basic questions about how often you sit during the day, and asks you to rate your current posture and back pain. It then gives you a personalized training plan with recommended times per day to wear it.

As is the case with braces, you should start off slow. I've been working on this bad posture for 25 years, so I know it's not going to get solved in a day. I wore it for only 10 minutes the first few days and have been ramping that time up slowly since. Every time you use the Go, you need to go into the app and make sure the device can distinguish between your upright and slouched posture, so it can measure effectively.

Once it can identify when you slouch, there are two functions for you to choose from in the app: tracking and training. Tracking, as you might guess, tracks your posture, noting how much of your day is spent hunched over your keyboard like a troll. I recommend spending your first day in tracking mode, so you can see how you're improving as you go.

The second function is training. Training is where the vibrations kick in. There are three options in this mode to choose from based on your level of activity: Stationary is for extended sitting or standing, Standard for moderate activity, and Active for those with dynamic routines. You're awarded greater freedom of movement with the latter two modes before you start getting vibration alerts.

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For example, when you're sitting and using Stationary mode, the device will pick up when you move your torso forward, even when it's very slight. But when you're standing or moving, it's more forgiving as it's trying to account for regular movement. If you feel the app isn't correctly measuring your slouches, you can tweak it yourself.

The best part of the Upright Go 2 is that it doesn't disrupt my day-to-day activities. Other devices that try to help with posture, like braces, can be so tight that they restrict some movement. They don't necessarily keep you from doing everyday tasks but if you're frequently moving around, bending, or picking stuff up, you'll have to be much more thoughtful. That's not a concern here.

You also don't need to worry about charging it daily. I've been using it for a few weeks, and since it's not something you should wear all day, it's still at 60 percent. When you do need to recharge it, just use the included USB-C cable to juice it back up.

I'm not a reformed sloucher just yet, and I've also been using regular yoga classes to help strengthen my muscles, but the Upright Go 2 has started my path to former-slouchhood. If you're struggling with poor posture, give it a try. Back health isn't something to skimp on.

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