Posture can be a huge part of chronic pain, yet there are very few devices aimed at posture correction that work. Lumo Lift is the most popular out of the few wearable gadgets in this market. The company started with a crowdsourced campaign to fund their previous product, the Lumo Back, but pretty much abandoned that product when the Lumo Lift became popular. The latter was actually named one of Time Magazine’s 25 Best Inventions of 2014!
What exactly does the Lumo Lift do? Well, it clips onto your shirt and continuously measures your posture, and buzzes when you’re slouching for too long. And you can adjust how long “too long” is … at first I set it at a couple minutes, but that got annoying fast. This all sounds simple enough, but there’s actually quite a bit of advanced technology inside this little gadget. Oh, and if it matters to you, the Lumo Lift also acts as a pedometer.
Yes, it does. The science behind certain posture correction exercise routines, that is. If you can maintain somewhat natural spinal curvature and vary your movement throughout the day, that’s better than 90% of people.The problem is that posture correction is very much an ongoing process. It’s not like weightlifting, where you can bench press twice a week and keep getting stronger over time. Your posture reverts back to slouchy unless you have continual reminders or make it a priority to be consistent. That’s where Lumo Lift tries to fit in, since you can wear it for as long as you like, and get posture reminders ALL DAY LONG. Or you can keep it on all day, and turn off the reminder buzzes when it’s inconvenient.
The Lumo Lift is just a tiny little doohickey though, it’s not a highly sensitive full body posture measuring suit. So that means the Lumo Lift could sometimes measure your posture as GOOD when it’s actually NOT SO GOOD, and vice versa. The devil lies in the details: for your particular posture, will the Lumo Lift be sensitive enough but not too sensitive? There’s unfortunately only one way to find out — try it. Or borrow a friend’s, if you have any postural-gadget-early-adopting friends.
There are no trials of the Lumo Lift, and I don’t see any coming in the pipeline. There are many physical therapy trials showing that exercises to improve posture are helpful for pain, though.
The main benefits of Lumo Lift might not actually come from specific postural corrections though, they might instead be due to just paying attention to your posture more. Like what if you had a device clipped to your shirt that saw what you were eating, and buzzed when it was junk food? Even a minor level of accountability (facing a buzz) can be enough to steer some people back on course.
The first drawback is the cost. It’s not that expensive, but the actual act of paying attention to your posture can technically be free. You don’t need a fancy gadget. Therein lies the rub: many people TRY to improve their postures, but very few carry through with their plans.
There are also a few minor drawbacks.Lumo Lift originally only worked with Apple devices, but since mid 2015 has started working with a few select Android phones (not my Nexus 5x though booooooo). The company says this is because of the way Android deals with low-energy Bluetooth … which doesn’t make the 80% of Android owners without those phones any happier. Technically you don’t need to connect the Lumo Lift to a phone in order to use it, but then you won’t get a pedometer function or posture logging, or any new features they may introduce through updated software.
If you don’t like self-experimentation, don’t buy a Lumo Lift. People will see a little black square on your shirt, near your collarbone, and ask you what it is. Some people will not appreciate that attention. But otherwise, the Lumo Lift doesn’t have a ton of practical barriers (other than the Android/Apple issue noted above). If you’re a stylish woman who shuns gadgets clipped to blouses, they include a bra clip in the package for more effective hiding.
The device is made by a small company, and hence I was a bit worried about what would happen if the device broke. And sure enough, the pedometer feature was wonky for the first week of use. But customer service helped me very quickly, and then it worked perfectly.
Another practical consideration is the lack of extra-super-sensitive posture tracking. What I mean by that is the Lumo Lift does a great job measuring the tilt of your torso, and can even (roughly) tell if you’re slumping your shoulders too much. But it can’t tell you much of anything about other parts of your posture, like tucking your pelvis, slumping your head down/forward, etc. Without any other devices being more sensitive though, Lumo Lift seems to be the best option available.
If you have good posture already, the Lumo Lift isn’t worth it. It’s just not sensitive enough to the multiple components of posture.
But if, like many many (many!) people, you have bad posture for large chunks of the day, the Lumo Lift could provide a ton of lasting benefit at a fairly reasonable cost.
Plus it’s tiny, so if you don’t like it, returning it should be a piece of cake. Because of its ease of use and promise in helping such a persistent problem, PainDatabase gives the Lumo Lift an unexpectedly high 8.2 out of 10.