PostureNOW – Review by a Posture Expert
PostureNOW was created by Matt Franklin and Mike Lane. These co-Developers stepped onto the stage of Posture devices via Shark Tank. They spoke with physical therapists and chiropractors and with their input and feedback, developed PostureNOW. This is a black elastic strap with three places to adjust tension. It’s a simple design at a very reasonable price.
This device did great in pulling shoulders back. Unfortunately I went through three participants before getting to one who would stick to using it more than just one week. The previous participants all complained of a similar issue – difficult to put on, not comfortable and very impractical. This to me is a major problem- user compliance. If you don’t like how it feels then you are not likely to wear it regularly, rendering the device useless.
Below, I indicated in the analysis two points of reference. One line (in green) demonstrating the base of the neck at the acromioclavicular junction and the second line (in red) demonstrating the outside of the shoulder – midpoint of the deltoid muscle. The lines come closer with the participant wearing device. As the shoulders pull back the lines come closer together. By the 90-day mark(third and fourth picture) there was a noticable correction of the shoulders in relation to the base of the neck and both points lined up as seen in the last picture. You can also notice in the last picture the shoulders are behind the center of gravity (long green vertical line). I did not see any correction of forward head translation immediately with use nor after 90-days (in fact it appears to have worsened).
PostureNOW site recommends wearing PostureNOW for 10-30 minutes a day for 30 days, with the understanding that you will have developed the habit of good posture and can wear it less and less over time.
Easy to clean
Wide range of adjustability
Two – 12 minute Videos included with each purchase
Low participant compliance
Restriction of upper arm movement
Limited use, do NOT wear during driving
Not covered by insurance
“At the 30-day mark I highlighted many of the difficulties with putting it on, doing anything while wearing the device, and taking it off at the end of use. Increased familiarity overtime did not improve my relationship with PostureNOW, and in fact, frustration with the device likely made me use it less frequently and not adjust it to fit as well as it could.
Usually there was a body adjustment while I wore the device and it was put on correctly (e.g., I wasn’t being lazy about tension, placement, etc). If I wore the device for +20 minutes, I would feel the lactic acid build up in my muscles associated with different body placement…. But my awareness lasted for a very short period of time. I did not notice any of the reported long-term benefits of wearing the device for 10-30 minutes per day. I wish I had tried to do some of the supplemental exercises.
My advice would be to wear the device longer if you can. Honestly I think duration and timing of use are what would optimize the benefits of PostureNOW. I tried to wear it after lunch, when I was more tired and therefore more likely to slouch, but could not develop a schedule that would allow me to wear the device daily or even consistently. Also, I think longer durations in the device would be beneficial. 10 minutes is too short. 30 minutes probably should be the recommended lower limit and you really start to notice it after an hour. But limitations to the ability to free move associated with wearing the device is a strong deterrent.”
Comments on the 12-minute Posture with Heidi McIsaac DVD
“The 12-minute video presents seven exercises that are recommended to be done daily, in sets of three. Each exercise has a 2-3 minute video with Heidi McIsaac demonstrating the exercise and a man’s voice narrating (Infomercial style). This bothers me a lot because on all of the packaging and advertising, Heidi is presented as the expert and guide. In reality, the DVD downgrades her to just another female model. I would have much preferred to hear Heidi describing each exercise as she did it.
Most of the exercises are done on the floor. Given that I use the PostureNOW device primarily at work, I would consider this DVD to be more of an optional “bonus” program that I could do in yoga pants in the privacy of my home. I contemplated doing the exercises behind my desk – but it was too uncomfortable. There is a reason why Heidi uses a yoga mat for all of these exercises. Also, you are at risk of flashing people if you try to do them in a dress or a skirt.
Two of the exercises (Snow Angel and Spine Roller) direct you to lay on a strategically placed rolled-up towel, presumably to increase the space behind the neck and shoulders and achieve a deeper stretch. The video does not explicitly state this. It is not clear if one could/should do the exercises without the towel and what the trade-off would be for this modification. Two of the exercises (Hamstring Stretch and Independent Shoulder Stretch) direct you to use the blue resistance band provided.
Independnet Shoulder Stretch
Unfortunately, I cannot safely or painlessly do the Independent Shoulder Stretch because the band is too strong for me. The package does not indicate the tensile strength this band offers, but I would estimate it provides about 30-35 pounds of resistance. When I try to do this move, there is significant strain on both of my wrists. The wrist near my head elongates, which could feel nice provided I was not shaking from the effort of stretching the band. Furthermore, this elongation/stretch does not offset the pain experienced in my other, outstretched arm. I began to feel pressure in the wrist, hand, and fingers by the time my arm was ¾ extended. I could only force myself to hold the full arm extension for 1-2 seconds because of the significant pull and pain/pressure in my wrist. This was true for me on both sides, but worse for my dominant arm.
12-minute Posture DVD
During my 90-day trial of Posture Now, I watched the 12-minute Posture DVD once, during a work lunch hour. I recognized most of the moves from previous physical therapy exercises, yoga classes, and/or personal trainer sessions. I only attempted the Independent Shoulder Stretch to see how well I worked with the resistance band. As stated before, it did not go well. Overall, my biggest issue with the video is there are no recommended modifications to the moves. I recognized that this is a time limitation of creating a 12-minute video.”
Comments on Bonus 12-minute Posture with Heidi McIsaac DVD
“The 12-minute bonus video presents 11 chair exercises that are recommended to be done daily. All 11 exercises are depicted using a 1 minute video. Most exercises appear to be simple but effective. The forward and size views of each move effectively demonstrate how to properly do the exercises.
Exercises 1-7 and 11 are based on your own strength and flexibility while Exercises 8-10 direct you to use the blue resistance band provided. The package does not indicate the tensile strength this band offers, but I would estimate it provides about 30-35 pounds of resistance. The tightness of the band is perfect for the neck.
Resistance Exercise (#9). The band was too strong for me to comfortably do the other two exercises. Therefore, unless you are starting from a physically strong and limber place, I strongly recommend starting with the first group of exercises and slowly adding the two resistance band exercises overtime.
For the Upper Back Flex exercise (#8), my arm strength was a limiting (and debilitating) factor. I am afraid that I would actually make my posture worse doing this move because in order to gain enough “leverage” to pull the band a few inches apart, I hunched over/crunched my neck forward, so I could feel and then engage muscles in different areas – Very counter-productive.
The Lawnmower exercise (#10) caused me wrist pain. When I tried to do this move, I found that the band pulled me pinky and ring fingers of the lower hand up and back. This torsion caused pressure and strain in my wrist. Pain from tendons along the lower arm twinged all the way up my arm. This was true for me on both sides, but worse for my dominant arm.
I wish I had watched this DVD earlier in my program and incorporated it into my daily PostureNow protocol. Consider this to be the “primary” DVD rather than the “bonus” DVD. I think that the primary 8 exercises would have been an important. An incredibly useful 8-10-minute regime done in the afternoon, after a day of sitting at my desk.”