Posture is under continual assault by contemporary screen culture. That’s the conclusion of chiropractors and orthopedists alike — nearly anyone who works with the body bemoans the extensive (and intensive) sitting we all do these days. Sedentary life doesn’t just mean couch potatoes binge-watching Netflix — it means people hard at work, too, whose posture crumples against the forces of even ergonomic chairs and keyboards.
What’s to be done about the way we sit — and they way we stand, for that matter? Paradoxically perhaps, there’s a technological solution. Or dozens of them, more accurately. Here are the top 9 posture apps to help you be your best erect, spine-relieving self.
PostureZone by BodyZone: iOS only, but then again it may be that Apple users are more addicted to their screens than most. It’s a free app. PostureZone is a diagnostic tool that examines photos of you for asymmetries. Given the data, you can self correct, keeping track of progress over time. PostureZone links up with Posture Specialists IRL for professional assessments.
Lumo Back: Real-Time Posture Feedback by ZeroZone: Another posture feedback system. This app requires a Lumo Back belt that captures data about posture — it measures slouching like Joan Didion — and doubles as a FitBit-type tracker for running etc.
Pilates Yoga Posture Flexibility for Abdomen and Breathing: You can’t get far in a posture conversation these days without encountering yoga — and that’s a good thing. Because nothing will make you more aware of your posture than focused breathing and great positions. It’s pretty much a video yoga app — and there are hundreds of them — but here’s the thing: your posture will benefit from any Yoga work. (Here’s an Android Yoga app 47,000 people have downloaded.)
PT Timer Lite: Stretch & Exercise by Qi Analytics: Like most exercise programs, it’s not about which exercise you choose but if you actually do it. (Now you see where that Nike slogan comes from!) This app is a timer that says hey, you, get up and stretch your calves now, and other such advice. Your body wants this. It says so but sometimes the body needs an app to shout its desires through your screen.
Posture – “be mindful” by Pressure Labs: Pressure Labs wants to take the pressure off you — especially your neck and spine. “Posture is a screen overlay that sends you reminders if you’re holding your phone in a neck straining position, so that you can build the habit of viewing your phone at eye level.” Good user reviews for this one, which is free to try.
Postrainer – Posture Exercises by Bracket Cove: Postrainer starts with the indisputable proposition that “simply remembering to sit up straight when we begin to slouch can make all the difference.” The app “designed to train you to sit up straight at regular intervals, and coach you in a few basic stretches and exercises which target common problems for those who spend most of their time sitting.” Free.
Healthy Spine&Straight Posture: as long as in-app ads don’t make you stress out, then the Healthy Spine&Straight Posture will relieve stress, as the “purpose of this application is to create a sustainable habit of regular exercise to strengthen the back muscles at home.” It’s got video and good personalization for timing, etc. Gets strong reviews at GooglePlay.
Or you could always get a book or a video. Or go for a walk or just push your shoulders back. Up to you. Just keep your head up. Literally, if you think of it.