quit slouching with the ALEX Wearable Posture Tracker and Coach

And now a word from a sponsor…

I’ll just say it: I have terrible posture when I’m working. I slouch, I hunch, I behave as if I don’t have a spine in my back. To look at me, you would think I was a jellyfish. A typing jellyfish.

But I know I’m not alone in this! If you live in front of a computer or a phone, you probably do a fair amount of slouching too. None of this is great for the body, and it can lead to back and neck problems and the chronic pain that accompanies them.

So what if you had some way to notice every time you slipped into “text neck” position so that you could be more conscious about straightening up and realigning your posture? (Some way other than a parent snapping at you to sit up straight, since clearly those repeated instructions didn’t take for a lot of us.) box

The ALEX Wearable Posture Tracker and Coach might be what you need. It’s the first wearable posture tracker that accurately measures the angle of your neck and the position of your head, and then coaches you towards better posture. If you slouch for more than a few minutes, it will gently vibrate to remind you to realign yourself. Since looking down at a laptop or a phone for extended periods of time causes soreness and stiffness in your neck and spine, ALEX can help eliminate pain by addressing the underlying cause (your terrible slouching). alex

Most posture or fitness trackers go on your wrist or your back or clip onto your clothes. Since the ALEX Wearable Posture Tracker is positioned on your neck instead, it can track the exact position of your head and neck to measure and determine poor posture and then guide you to where you need to be. (Here’s a video to see how it works.)

The ALEX Wearable Posture Tracker also comes with a really easy-to-use app that will monitor your posture in real time and track your progress in fighting your slouch. When you go through the set-up process for the first time, it will teach you the correct angle for your neck. It’s really simple — red is not a correct angle, and green is.  You get immediate feedback, which makes it easy to understand where you’re going awry and how to self-correct. connection-complete setup-guide setup-guide2

The first day I used the app, I was pretty horrified to see how much I slouch, but it was gratifying to see my quick improvement after paying attention to the app. After a week of using ALEX, I’m distinctly less jellyfish-like … and I can actually feel the difference in my back and shoulders.

I wasn’t sure what it would feel like to wear, but it’s pretty comfortable and discreet. It’s really lightweight, and it sits around your ears and doesn’t get in the way of glasses or headphones.  It also holds a charge for about seven days straight, and it recharges quickly.

ALEX is offering Ask a Managers readers a chance to win a free ALEX Wearable Posture Tracker and Coach. For your chance to win, just enter the giveaway below.

ALEX Wearable Posture Coach Giveaway!

Visit Sponsors Site

This is a sponsored post written by me on behalf of ALEX Wearable Posture Tracker and Coach. All opinions are 100% mine.

{ 205 comments… read them below or add one }

  1. Chairs

    Intriguing – is it easy to take on and off (i.e. if I was wearing it in my office, would it be feasible to whip it off for meetings)? Does long hair get in the way?

    Reply
    1. Ask a Manager Post author

      I have shoulder-length hair and the first time I put it on, my hair was in the way. I found that if I just scooped up into a ponytail with one hand, I could put it on with the other easily (and then could drop my hair back down). It’s sort of like putting on glasses backwards, but you get used it to pretty fast

      Reply
      1. Aurion

        I think this can definitely carry into office hours.

        I have very good posture (except when I’m knowingly, willingly lazing about, usually when I’m watching something on the computer as opposed to typing), and it was because my physiotherapist grilled me about it when I had a shoulder injury…back in 2011. If ALEX promotes constant vigilance about posture at home, I think it’ll definitely carry over to the office!

        Reply
        1. Formica Dinette

          I agree. A few years ago I developed shoulder pain that was caused by text neck. I set an Outlook reminder to do my PT exercises every hour and now I no longer need that reminder.

          Reply
      2. LBK

        Yeah, I think wearing it for the 2-3 hours I’m usually on the computer at home would point me in the right direction and I could carry that training over to the office.

        Reply
    1. Peggy

      I was just trying to figure out of my hair would cover it when down… But I teach high school, so I could always just tell the kids I’m a cyborg now.

      Reply
      1. Ask a Manager Post author

        It’s definitely covered by your hair if you wear your hair down. I found it easier to put on with my hair scopped back into a ponytail, but then could quickly let it down once the device was on.

        Reply
  2. orchidsandtea

    This could be really helpful. I’ve gotten a lot of mileage out of the book 8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back by Esther Gokhale, who helps explain exactly how the spine needs to align to prevent slouching. It was a little different than I’d expected!

    Reply
  3. Jenn

    Seeing as how I’m actually considering moving my wedding up so I can see my chiro again on my fiance’s insurance, I should probably look into this…

    Reply
  4. Looby

    As someone who has just booked yet another RMT appointment for shoulder pain from slouching I should really consider investing in one of these!

    Reply
  5. Muriel Heslop

    This looks great! Fortunately, I have lots of students happy to point out when I am slouching, but this seems much better.

    Reply
  6. Aussiegirl

    My 16 yr old, 6′ daughter could definitely use this. She’s very self-conscious about her height, so she never stands up straight and is endlessly hunched over her computer. I worry she will never feel comfortable standing at her full height after years of ‘hunching’.

    Reply
    1. LQ

      Oh I have so much empathy. I’m 6’2″ and it took me a really long time (well into my 20s) to come to grips with being very tall. It helps that I’m in an area where I’m not always the tallest person in the room and I’m even sometimes not the tallest woman. For a while when I was in an area of the country where I was nearly always the tallest person by quite a bit, it was so much harder. (I promise there isn’t a joke or comment I haven’t heard.)

      Hopefully she can get to a point of being comfortable with it even after years of hunching and slouching and trying to really just have people not notice and comment. I do think a lot about my posture and how I sit and stand now because of it though.

      Reply
      1. Aussiegirl

        Hi LQ, thanks so much for your reply. It’s really encouraging and helps me to hear real stories from people who can empathise. I’ve been stressing about it a lot for a few years, so hopefully being tall is something my daughter will come to appreciate in time.

        Reply
    2. LawPancake

      I’m 6’1″ and slouched horribly when I was a teenager. I’m not sure when being tall finally flipped into something awesome for me but I think it was around 22. The only think that I know for sure would have helped my teenage confidence would have been having pants that were actually long enough for me instead of the mortifying high-water pants I wore up until late in high school.

      Reply
      1. Aussiegirl

        Hi LawPancake, thanks for your reply. My daughter is OK with her pants! and I hope she will eventually see how gorgeous she is when she stands up straight. She does jazz ballet (which she loves) and her teacher is constantly telling her to stand tall, so I’m hoping this is the confidence booster she needs. We’ll see… Thanks for your encouragement, it does help.

        Reply
      2. Katherine

        Yessss! This was me too. I’m 5’9.75 but I tell everyone 6′ since that’s embarrassing. I would have to buy the most expensive pants to get them even mostly long enough and even then they were usually short. I was in middle school at a time that long drag on the ground boot cut denim was popular too. Now with skinny jeans, it’s easier.

        Reply
  7. ThatOneRedhead

    Very interesting! Since having a baby, my neck is much more sore. I think it’s all the time I spend looking down at her.

    Reply
  8. Natalie Thomas

    ALEX can also be known as ‘my dad’ because we used to share an office and at least once a day he would yank my shoulders into the back of my office chair. I think this would be a gentler reminder to have good posture.

    Reply
  9. Victoria Nonprofit (USA)

    I’m having a hard time imagining wearing this — I feel like I/it would look so silly. But it’s worth a try (said as I slouch…).

    Reply
  10. Callietwo

    Looks interesting.. Something like this might help keep me out of my neck brace, which I wear on occasion when my neck pain gets bad. Checking out the links!

    Reply
  11. SK

    I’ve begun to notice that I have been slouching terribly recently and was wondering how to be more mindful of it. This seems like it just might work!

    Reply
  12. Kiki

    This device is really helpful if you have not yet developed tightness in the shoulder or hip extensors (yes, hips!). If you have, it’s super hard to just force yourself to sit up straight. If that’s the case, check out the articles on sites like T-Nation. I was a super sloucher until I started weightlifting two years ago, now I can’t slouch if I wanted to. You don’t need to become a powerlifter though, just a few exercises with light weights will really help.

    Reply
  13. AMG

    I think that this would really help me. I am already working on my posture but this would really benefit me! I would happy to serve as a testimonial to after trying it out!

    Reply
  14. Grace

    I work at an outpatient physical therapy clinic that treats a LOT of neck and back pain. Neck and back pain is almost always the result of poor posture and body mechanics. This would be an invaluable tool for helping countless patients learn good posture during their appointments!

    Reply
  15. Coffee Ninja

    This made my day! I recently developed a neck problem (one of my doctors thinks I injured myself at the gym) that has made my usually well-controlled migraines chronic & excruciating. I’ve noticed that slouching and looking down, like at my phone, often makes it worse. Towards the end of the workday I also wind up leaning closer and closer to my computer monitor :)

    Reply
  16. JessaB

    Looks interesting, I do usually like your sponsored posts because you actually take care in which companies you choose to work with. I hate places that just take every sponsor that asks them to.

    Reply
  17. H.C.

    Neat concept/product; I’m definitely at risk for text neck now that I have a one-hour commute each day to work (& a desk job in the day).

    Reply
  18. Emily L

    I get such frequent headaches, and I know it is at least in part from my bad posture and “text” neck!!! This would help so much! Very interested! Fingers crossed for the win!!!

    Reply
  19. Sydney Bristow

    I just bought an old school posture correction thing that pulls your shoulders back. I’ve been getting tension headaches really frequently recently and I’m 99% sure it’s posture-related. This looks pretty interesting and worth a try.

    Reply
  20. Jadelyn

    My team actually *just* did a training on ergonomic assessments as part of our wellness plan. I wonder if our wellness initiative would be interested in these?

    Reply
  21. Prismatic Professional

    I’ll throw my hat in the ring! I really could use the help with posture. :-)

    And yes, to echo Persephone Mulberry – very different comments than usual! :-P Does the increase in comments (and the fact they’re all pretty much the same) assist AAM in any way? I hope so, but I’m not sure how that would work.

    Reply
  22. Faye

    Man, this would be so useful. I have terrible posture, mostly due to being hooked to a computer all day in combination with the hunch I unintentionally developed in high school to de-emphasize a large chest.

    Reply
  23. Katie-Pie

    Oh my gosh, I SO need this! I told my closest friends they could call me out on my posture, but alone at my desk, I’m so unaware!

    Reply
  24. Shishimai

    Ooh. I could use something like this too.

    It’s cool that it doesn’t interfere with glasses – I wear them, and it’s terribly obnoxious having other things that attach around the ears, because they almost always don’t play nice.

    Reply
  25. animaniactoo

    I’m really curious, at first it seemed like something that would be another gimmick kind of thing, despite the fact that I know you vet sponsors. But your experience having used it really makes me want to try it now. My chiropractor would probably be really happy if she had to do less re-alignment work to put everything back in its place. Well, okay, I would too. 8•)

    Reply
  26. Disgust from Inside Out

    Wow, this sounds really cool. I’m intrigued! I’ve been working on my posture for so long, and it’s still so easy to find myself horribly slouched.

    Reply
  27. Ellie H.

    I really need one of these things. I think looking like a cyborg or covert operative might be a plus :) I might actually go ahead and buy one or ask for it as a present.

    Reply
  28. DrPopcorn

    I’m intrigued… It does seem like it would be fighting for ear space with my glasses though. Did you use it with glasses, Alison?

    Reply
  29. SophieChotek

    I definitely could benefit from one of these but as my audiologist would say: I have no “real estate” left on my ears! I already wear two hearing aids and glasses!

    Reply
  30. gingerblue

    I could really use one of these. I’m trying to fix years of back pain from unergonomic desk setups, and I know I slouch too much at the computer. I know how to sit better, but 30 seconds after I stop concentrating on it I’m hunched forwards again…

    Reply
  31. CaroleSloucher

    My posture when working is horrible! I catch myself leaning over looking down scrunched and then wondering later why my neck is stiff or hurting! lol. Definitely sounds like a great idea

    Reply
  32. Hermione Schuyler

    This looks amazing!! I bought a posture tracker about a year ago, and I never felt like it was accurate, no matter how many times I calibrated it. Having something on my body instead of on my clothes sounds like a much better solution!

    Reply
  33. CMT

    Oh man, I actually just this week got a different posture tracking wearable device. I think it’s pretty cool that I can have a little electronic nag me to sit up straight instead of my mother :)

    Reply
    1. Jessica (tc)

      Welcome to the Teeny Head Club! I have had no luck finding good earbuds for my tiny ears or winter hats for my tiny head. (Well, the latter isn’t necessarily true, but I did have to go to the children’s section at a wool mill to find mittens and a hat, but at least they’re not cutesy!) :~D

      Reply
  34. the cake is a pie

    Oh my, I’m such a sloucher. I’m in my thirties but my dad still corrects my posture when he comes to visit. Maybe it’s finally time to reform.

    Reply
  35. AK

    I’m currently working with the Ergonomics folks at the University where I work to coordinate with my department to give me a loaner sit/stand desk to trial for three months. If It works, I’m hoping to convince my department to buy one for me. This would be the perfect companion to what I hope is going to be an ergonomic revolution in my life!

    Reply
  36. tink

    I usually have good posture at the computer, but I could definitely use “text neck” alerts. Or get DH to wear it so that he realizes how much he’s slouching at the computer, especially since he’s had increasingly worse back pain lately.

    Reply
  37. HootsyCat

    Interesting! I was looking into something else that clips onto your clothes (or under your clothes!) that was more focused on back posture than the neck, but this seems nice given that I have a bad habit of slouching at my desk while working with multiple computer monitors.

    Reply
  38. Minnow

    What a cool concept! I’m conscious of the fact that I have terrible posture but it’s so easy to get sucked into your tasks and forget about it. This would help a ton.

    Reply
  39. Bluebell

    I’m definitely going to check this out. I have really bad posture. It’s gotten better with regular strength training but it would be great to measure the progress.

    Reply
  40. Wehaf

    I’ve been thinking for a while that it would be nice to have a strict Victorian comportment teacher to smack me with a ruler every time I slouch; maybe this would be a less conspicuous option…

    Reply
  41. Drama Llama's Mama

    My posture is just the worst. Even when I worked in an office and had a $$$ ergonomic chair tailored to my height (thanks company!!), I still slouched terribly. Now I work for the same company remotely and have a $ ergonomic chair and it’s catching up with me, for sure. I don’t want to end up a hunchback and yet I have trouble making myself sit up straight. Something like this could definitely help!

    Reply
  42. ElizabethA

    I can definitely use this — I was just this morning discussing with a coworker my fear that my tech-neck will have a debilitating effect on my quality of life!

    Reply
  43. Alicia S

    Ooh interesting, my husband and I were just talking about this yesterday, that we wished we had a way to monitor our slouchy posture!

    Reply
  44. New Bee

    Thank you for sharing this! I had great posture growing up as a band nerd, but teaching elementary school ruined it. :-(

    Reply
  45. Colleen

    I need this so bad. Even after 6 months of physical therapy on my shoulder due to bad posture at the computer, I still slouch.

    Reply
  46. Snazzy Hat

    I hope this could also help with my posture in ballet! I’m in the market for a balance ball chair, too, so perhaps one day I’ll be able to walk around my house flawlessly with a hardcover book on my head.

    Reply
  47. Poppy

    I think my posture is pretty good while walking, but the instant I sit down I start slouching! Of course, reading this article has magically improved my posture, at least for a little bit…

    Reply
  48. Al Lo

    This looks great! I have decent posture, but it can always be better.

    (Every time I see someone who’s developed/ing a hunch, I instinctively stand up straighter, even though I know that it’s not actually solely caused by slouching.)

    Also, I’m sitting very straight right now. :)

    Reply
  49. GH in SoCAl

    If they made a version with built-in earbuds that would be even better! Then no worries about real-estate and less reason to feel self-conscious.

    I work from home, and my posture has gone to hell as I get older and my vision deteriorates. I am definitely intrigued.

    Reply
  50. Transformer

    Is this waterproof or water resistant? I work around pools and rivers and really need to be aware… Also, how secure is it? Can you use it during physical activity?

    Reply
  51. ES

    This seems really useful, but it would be perfect if I could customize it with my mother’s voice telling me to straighten up!

    Reply
  52. NorCalHR

    Sounds like a great add to the ergonomic options here – lots of computer-based work, with accompanying/resulting slouching!! Thanks, Allison, for posting this!

    Reply
  53. Jessica (tc)

    I’m not sure about wearables, but I’m willing to try at this point. My posture is getting terrible lately, because I’ve been working from home for a year and it was already on its way before that. :( I just can’t seem to get my computer setup right or a comfortable chair that fits my short stature.

    Reply
  54. ArtsNerd

    My posture could be better but I’m really just posting to whine. I’m dying of impatience for HabitAware to start shipping – I compulsively pick at my hair and this kind of tech could have an incredible impact on my quality of life. Maybe they’d be interested in sponsoring, so I can get an AAM review of the device in action…

    http://www.habitaware.com/

    Reply
  55. MaeWestWroteHerLines

    This would kill two birds with one stone; get me to be more conscious of my posture and encourage me to leave my hair down more (it’s been HOT this summer.)

    Reply
  56. Book Person

    Oh cool! I definitely contort myself in odd ways when typing and don’t use my standing desk as often as I should. Good to know about this!

    Reply
  57. Amy Farrah Fowler

    I was going to say that my husband could use one of these (his posture is so bad!) but when I think about it, I could probably use one too!

    Reply
  58. ancolie

    Huh. That’s actually pretty cool and less expensive than I thought it would be.

    Since it just monitors the angle of your head and neck, will it still help with posture stuff that causes *lower* back pain?

    Reply
  59. Rhonda

    I really need one of these! I found out last year that I have two bulging disks in my neck and constantly looking at my computer with poor posture makes it hurt so much worse.

    Reply
  60. Natasha

    It would be cool if workplaces or libraries had these available to borrow for a few weeks, just long enough to build the right habits!

    Reply
  61. Yet Another JD

    My husband is a programmer, and totally has that hunched over look. I’ve been writing a lot lately, so I do, too. Is this meant to be an individual device or can you share it?

    Reply
  62. Dillon

    Interesting idea behind this gadget. Wearable seems to be the trends today. Battery life up to 7 days without recharging sounds good enough. Definitely want to try this out.

    Reply
  63. DMC

    I ordered this. It does work, though not quite as well as I was hoping, so here is my review for anyone on the fence!
    I find that it is slightly uncomfortable on my ears. Also, I’m still playing with the calibration, because it doesn’t seem to buzz all the time when I feel my posture is deteriorating. The calibrating app doesn’t quite seem to line up with where it is actually sitting on my neck/base of head. Also, I keep forgetting it (either at home or at the office), so a lot of time I just don’t have it and can’t use it!

    Other than those issues, which I’m still working through, I think it’s a decent tool for chronic slouchers.

    Reply

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