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What Doctors Don't Tell You

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August 2019 (Vol. 4 Issue 6)

The Best Products for Posture
About the author: 
Joanna Evans

The Best Products for Posture image

Five posture-boosting products to help protect your back.

Got your back: The Best Products for Posture

Numerous experts agree that poor posture—especially sitting hunched over a desk for prolonged periods of time, day after day, as many of us do—can be seriously bad for your back, often leading to long-term pain and discomfort.

We check out the latest products designed to improve your posture and keep your back in action.

On board

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Backboard Plus+, £49.99

www.backpainhelp.com; tel: 0161 818 4780

Developed in conjunction with Harley Street specialists at the London Spine Clinic, this adjustable board is meant to help you maintain a correct sitting posture by preventing slumping of the lower back. You simply bend it over your knee to fit the curvature of your spine, then position it in your chair (at work, home or in the car) to provide lumbar support. The Backboard Light comes with a strap to fix the board to your seat, while the Backboard Plus+ comes with a strap as well as two cool pads and a detachable sleeve (you place the cool pads in the sleeve to relieve areas of pain).

Take a stand

Varidesk

Pro Plus 36, £335

uk.varidesk.com; tel: 020 3808 5398

An ideal way to solve and prevent problems caused by sitting for long periods of time is to sit less. This height-adjustable desk, with a spring-assisted lift mechanism that allows you to raise and lower it in seconds, means you can do just that while working. The two-tier design—which is big and sturdy enough to hold two monitors, a keyboard and a mouse—simply sits on top of your usual desk so you can work standing up when you want, and enjoy the benefits of not sitting hunched over all day.

Well cushioned

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Posture Cushion, £34.99

www.backpainhelp.com; tel: 0161 818 4780

This pre-inflated cushion is said to improve your sitting posture by destabilizing the sitting surface, which forces your core muscles to work continually to stay upright. Over time, this 'active sitting' will boost your core strength and posture, the makers say, and help to avoid muscle tension. It can take some getting used to, though, so it's best to use it for only short bursts of time initially, then gradually extend the amount of time you spend sitting on the cushion.

Sit around

Humanscale

Ballo Stool, £199

www.backinaction.co.uk; tel: 01494 434 343

With a name that means 'to dance' in Italian, Ballo is an unconventional stool with a rounded top and bottom, which means you need to engage your legs and core to stay upright. This dynamic way of sitting avoids the common problem of sitting slumped in one position for long periods, and helps to improve core strength and circulation. While inspired by the 'Swiss' exercise ball (which is a good, low-cost alternative) this design is non-slip, low-profile and handily stays in place when you're not using it, thanks to a concrete counterweight. But don't worry, it's super-lightweight so you can move it around to wherever you need it.

Get a lift

Lumo BodyTech

Lumo Lift Posture Coach and Activity Tracker, £59.99

www.amazon.co.uk

Named in TIME magazine's list of the 25 Best Inventions of 2014, this little gadget magnetically attaches to your clothes to track your posture throughout the day and alert you when it's less than ideal. The sensor gently vibrates whenever you slouch, encouraging you to correct your posture, and you can check your progress via the complimentary iOS or Android app (which also logs your steps and calories burned).


References

References

1

Int J Androl, 2012; 35: 424-36; Free Radic Biol Med, 2006; 41: 1205-12

2

Environ Sci Technol, 2012; 46: 4624-32

3

www.ewg.org/2015sunscreen/report/the-trouble-with-sunscreen-chemicals

4

Dermatol Surg, 2000; 26: 309-14

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