A same-age friend and I walked down the street recently, we simultaneously noticed that we were hunched over just a tad in a way that might not look remarkable now but that suggested a more acute (and unpleasant) bowed attitude to come. Instantly, I saw myself as one of those doubled-over old ladies, painfully propelling my shopping cart home to a menagerie of stray cats. (And I don't like cats.) That vision got me standing at attention, but for days afterward I noticed that I have developed a propensity to slump. Though slumping is never a good thing, it is especially unhelpful if you want to avoid lower-back problems, which can have a trickle-down effect (and not a pretty one) on the hips, knees, and ankles, says John Giurini, DPM, associate professor in surgery at Harvard Medical School.
So I was glad to find out about the iPosture, ($90; iPosture.com, left), a device the size of a large button you clip to your bra strap, wear on a short chain, or stick to your chest with a mild adhesive patch (this last one won't work so well if you tend to be heavily moisturized). The button, which was developed by a doctor, vibrates to alert you when you're slouching and promises a multitude of benefits, among them, trimming love handles and belly bulges, eliminating common back problems, and making you look younger and sexier. I wore the iPosture for three days and concluded that it was very helpfulâ€”and also increasingly annoyingâ€”to be constantly reminded to sit and stand up straight. (Kind of like being followed around by your mother; at least it doesn't also remind you to get the hair off your face.) I don't know if I looked younger and sexier, being too shy to ask, though I did feel taller and somehow more in command of my body. I had to stop wearing the device every day simply because it exhausted me; I was surprised to discover that it can be wretchedly tiring to be erect all the time if you're not used to it. But I put it on occasionally as a reminder that I want to make my way into old age slump- (and feline-) free.
â€” Val Monroe