This post is sponsored by Upright Go.
We call it ‘the worm’.
When you sit so slouched over that your shoulders are rounded, your stomach sticks out and you basically look gross. After looking through holiday photos when I was 14 and on a riding trip with my Mum and friend, my friend and I were horrified about how awful we looked.
Braces, wrap-around sunglasses and stick to your head poker straight hair didn’t help matters. (it was the Summer I got my first pair of GHDs and I used them a LOT).
From then on, I tried to think about my posture in particular when photos were being taken. However, I’m guilty of letting it slip (a lot) when I’m working, commuting or sitting in lectures. I’ve noticed a real difference in my body shape by working on my posture; my stomach looks flatter, my boobs look bigger and my bum looks better…all from thinking about how I’m standing!
Apart from looking unattractive, having poor posture there are actually a surprising number of side-effects on your body.
Mental health – Personally, I was most intrigued by a study by that linked slouching with depression. I’ve always just thought that it was the fact that you’d spent hours in front of a computer that was detrimental to your mental health, but perhaps it is also linked to how you’re sitting at your desk.
Brain function – Apparently, when we’re sitting for long periods of time we’re putting stress on our internal organs, compressing and constricting your heart and lungs, making it harder for your body to circulate blood and oxygen. This can make you feel more sluggish and could make it harder for you to concentrate.
Digestive problems – slouching over reduces the space for your intestines, making digestion more difficult and less comfortable. It has been linked in particular to acid reflux and hernias.
Pain and reduced mobility – Back, shoulder and neck pain is very common in slouchers or people that spend a long time at a desk each day, however it can also affect your hips and sciatic nerve. Slouching can cause imbalances within the body, meaning some muscles compensate for weaknesses in the other. (Like my quads consistently taking over from my glutes/hamstrings when I run).
Did you see the Runner’s World article a few years ago ‘Sitting is the new Smoking?’ Even if you’re super sporty and workout regularly, you aren’t immune to the negative effects of sitting and slouching!
I’ve been using the Upright Go for a couple of days, and have been shocked by how many times I’ve felt the vibration reminder, even when I’m trying to sit up straight. You can set it to track your posture, where you won’t get alerts, and can see where your starting point is. Then once you’ve assessed your posture, you can set it to ‘Training’ where it will tell you to work on your posture for 8 minutes
Check out the stats below, still got a lot of work to do, clearly!
How it works… you wear the pod on your back, and set up the app. There’s a sensor that uses a learning algorithmic model to detect your body’s movements, upper body position, and other postural nuances. It emits a gentle vibration whenever you slouch, helping to train you to sit or stand with correct upright posture.
Upright Go is designed for you to wear all-day, which I haven’t quite managed. Personally, I think it’s more realistic to wear during your work day rather than all day. I have been wearing it whilst working on uni essays at home and whilst sitting in lectures (the vibrations also made sure I stayed focused and bolt upright!) It would be interesting to wear it on the tube/train and car too and see how it affects my habits whilst travelling – I’ll do that and report back!