Review: LUMOback

Hello, my name is Michael and I have lousy posture. I have been trying (poorly) to adjust it for ages. Not only does my problem supply me with generous helpings of lower back pain, it makes me look schlumpy. In fact, most of us who sit behind a computer all day tend to slouch all the time, even when we’re not working. And we still wonder where the back and neck pain is coming from.

I have tried numerous “solutions,” but think I have found one that finally improves my posture. It’s called LUMOback, and it’s nothing more than a wafer-thin sensor attached to a belt you wear around your waist. It gently vibrates when you slouch, nagging you to correct your posture. It works whether you’re seated, standing, or walking.

The $150 assembly connects via low-energy Bluetooth to an iPhone 4S or 5, or an iPad 3 or later. You calibrate the LUMOback belt through the iOS app. Then, it monitors your posture and gives you real-time feedback in the app, using cute stick figure avatars to show your back’s current position. And seeing just how you hold yourself, even through a stick figure illustration, is a major wake-up call.

The initial calibration exercise has you purposefully slouch as you usually do, and then correct yourself by sitting and standing tall. From there, the LUMOback learns your body shape and becomes your personal, proactive posture policeman — nagging you with a buzz when you start to slouch, even if the sensor chip is not connected to your iOS device.

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