Did you sit straight after reading this sentence? I know I did after writing this. As a work-from-home writer and frequent PC gamer, I constantly struggle with poor posture and the ills that come with it. For me, back pain never goes away, so I’ve tried many different methods to improve it. And they have, but my latest attempt has been more successful than all the others, simply because of its sheer annoyance.
I’m using an app to remind me to stand up straight. I hate it, but it’s working.
Don’t I do enough already?
In addition to spending 80% of my day sitting or standing in front of a computer, I have a locked pelvis and astigmatism in one eye, so it’s a constant temptation to lean forward and tilt myself at weird angles. However, I do have a sit/stand desk, which I use as often as occasional knee pain allows, an ergonomic chair when I can’t, and a footrest, all to promote good posture. To promote.
Despite these efforts, and a focus on back-strengthening exercises and regular stretching, I still find myself often leaning on my elbows, leaning on a chair, or leaning on the armrests. It’s not good. In a few days that and that nerve pinch in my shoulder blade will reappear and I’ll be nervous about improving myself until it goes away again.
But it always comes back, because I inevitably forget and lazily fall back into it again.
So, I’m trying something more drastic. Something that will scare me from standing upright forever. I have set up an automated posture bot.
It’s called SitApp, and it’s available for Windows and Mac for free if you want to try it out. Once installed, you calibrate it using your webcam so it detects good posture, and then detects bad posture (you can input as many of these as you want). While running, it will detect when you are slouching or sinning in one of your favorite postures and will remind you to go to the corner and change it.
A droid, at least. This is what SitApp calls its annoying posture reminder pop-ups. The little portal-core-esque thing pops up from the corner of your screen to remind you to return to the correct and healthy posture. It is quite responsive and responds immediately when you get back into position, although you may need to run the calibration tool a few times depending on how sensitive or accurate you want it to be for certain conditions. Want (if you find it too sensitive, just try using a bad posture example).
If you don’t react quickly, your screen will start turning red as the little droid shows its displeasure with your posture. It can be a little annoying and distracting when you first start using it, but if you’ve calibrated it correctly, it’s a good indicator of just how often you’re inadvertently sabotaging your healthy sitting or Leave the standing position.
You can earn Asana badges for achieving certain milestones for added incentive – although these are also quite annoying at first, as they stop Asana monitoring to reward you – and a timer tells you. That’s how long you’ve been working.
It automatically stops when you are not there. It doesn’t really matter, because who will be able to stand straight if you are lost? But it’s good to see that at least it recognizes it, and it helps with tracked stats.
It’s annoying, but it really works
The lightweight data tracking and reporting for your posture is a nice touch, as you’ll be able to see any improvements in your sitting or standing position over time. The only thing is, the droid is so annoying when you’re not sitting or standing properly, that I don’t spend any real time in “bad posture”. If I get tired and can’t stand upright anymore, I turn it off.
However, that’s okay. Like any new exercise or physical task you undertake, it is important to give yourself time to get used to it. I have a tendency to be obsessed with new things, so I keep working on them all day. But it’s proving to be much better to take the time to strengthen my back and not get burned out by the sheer annoyance of that little diarrhea.
so here we are. I have stood a little straighter and because of this the back pain is reducing. I still haven’t got the calibration completely fine – the droid often pops out when I turn to look at my second monitor – but it’s getting there and it’s Is making a difference.
For a free app that only politely asks you to buy the developer a coffee in exchange? This is very good business.