Since turning 30 there’s been a shocking increase in the amount of general aches and pains that have beset my person. A rough night’s sleep, rickety chair, or sudden dip in temperature can cause painful twinges and it’s not uncommon for my joints to click and pop for no good reason. So it’s becoming more evident that I can no longer live with the reckless abandon of youth and must take care of myself a lot more. Starting with something, that as a writer, I spend most of my working day doing – sitting.
The LUMOback is an amazing new “slouch detector” that utilises motion sensors and the power of your iPhone to correct your posture. Back pain is the second most common reason for a trip to the GPs, behind the common cold, so it’s great area for app developers to be thinking out and a great example of apps that can make a genuine difference in your well being.
The sensor is a small black rectangle – like a modern day speaker remote, that straps to the small of your back with an elasticated band. It’s pretty unobtrusive and I had it on under a range of both formal, casual and gym clothes without ever feeling constrained. I would say I forgot I was wearing it – except I slouch almost constantly so the device was repeatedly reminding me that it existed and demanded my attention.
LUMOback works via real time feedback from the device to the app to send out gentle pulses if you slouch from the lower back, lean forward or backwards, or shift weight to one side. This is pretty much all I do, so the poor thing was buzzing constantly. It is however, effective. I don’t have it on at the moment but have been repeatedly correcting my posture as I type. If you find it a little much you can tweak the sensitivity in the app so it doesn’t go bananas every time you look over your shoulder.
The app also tracks steps, calories burned, time standing, time sitting and the number of times users stand up each day. Additionally, the LUMOback app provides a daily ‘Posture Score’ so that progress can be monitored as posture is improved. You can even have it strapped on while you sleep to accurately track tosses and turns.
Although the constant quibbles do feel a little bit like nagging, it is for a purpose (and the whole reason why you purchased the device). And the fact that I feel bad about slouching even when LUMOback isn’t on me speaks volumes as to its effectiveness.
LUMOback is available now for £129.95 from Apple Stores. For further information visit LUMOback.