Of the many choices, two were standouts for me - Spire and Lumo Lift. Spire monitors your breathing and buzzes to remind you to take a deep breath. This can help you manage stress throughout your day. It attaches to your waist or bra and also acts as a pedometer. Lumo Lift is a posture trainer. It attaches to your shirt or bra strap and buzzes gently when you slouch. It is also a pedometer and is shown in the picture to the left.
I decided on a posture trainer for several reasons. I know that spending most of my day at a desk often leads me down the path of poor posture. I firmly believe that years of bad posture can have a long term effect on our backs and may even contribute to shoulder weakness and inflexibility. I did briefly consider another posture trainer - Upright. Upright is a larger device and attaches directly to your lower back. You are meant to wear it for a few hours a day, vs. all day with Lumo Lift. I didn't like the idea of attaching something directly to my skin. Plus, it looks pretty large and uncomfortable to wear. I also liked the idea of getting a pedometer and calorie burn estimate with the Lumo Lift. As an added bonus, I was able to purchase mine my woot for a considerable savings off the $79.99 retail price.
My Lift arrived and I could not wait to use it. But I had to charge it. And then I found out the app was not compatible with my phone. Ugh. My fault for not reading on the website the list of supported phones. I have a newer model phone and assumed I would be fine. Wrong. I had to buy a USB dongle that would allow the Lift to sync with my computer. I tried using the Lift without that, but could not get it to work.
Once my USB dongle arrived, I was in business. The app was easy to use and walked me though setting up my Lift with timers and goals. I stuck with the defaults. It will buzz after two minutes of slouching and my goal is 10,000 steps a day. I tried attaching it to my shirt, but feel that I get better results by attaching it to my bra strap. It is very comfortable to wear - I forget that it is on. When it is attached to your shirt with a magnet you do see a small square on the outside of your shirt. Mine came with a silver, black and white options. It looks like a small pin. I did have a few people ask me what it was. I find it to be completely unnoticeable when attached to my bra strap. The suggested position is one inch down from your collarbone.
You do have to align the device throughout the day to get the best results. You do this by getting into your best posture and squeezing the device twice. It will buzz three times to let you know it is properly aligned. I align it when settling down to work, watching TV or getting into the car for ride.
A week into it, and I'm already feeling changed for the better! Day one and two my back was a little sore from the improved posture. Then it started to become habit and am I learning my slouching patterns. When I am thinking over a problem, I slouch. That's great info to know and wonderful to get that little buzz when I need the reminder. I was worried that the buzz would be noticeable in a quiet office or meeting, but it's softer than a cell phone on vibrate. No one has asked me what that noise is, I think they all assume it's my cell.
I also love the pedometer and calorie burn counter. I consider both of these to be estimates, but the app does take your height and weight into consideration. I learned that I sit way too much when I work from home. This has led me to adjust and take a morning and evening walk on those days. Keeping my calorie burn front and center is also very useful. I can see if I have earned that cookie or not!
Because I am at my computer a lot, using the computer app rather than the phone app has not been a major inconvenience for me. I do still wish and hope the phone app will work on more phones in the future. The computer app works just fine when I am away from my computer syncing with a buzz when I come near.
The battery life is advertised as five days, but I got more like three out of it. It doesn't track sleep (which I wish it did) so I have fallen into the habit of charging every night. It did drive me crazy when weeding the garden and sweeping the floors - basically any extended activity when you are bent. It is easy to turn the posture coach on and off with a squeeze, I now simply turn it off when my activity is making it buzz every two minutes.
The coach is adjustable and after trying it out, I do plan on shortening my time limit so that it will not let me slouch as long before I get the buzzing reminder. The 10,000 steps goal is proving to be difficult for me, so I did some research into where that goal came from. It was originally part of a Japanese marketing campaign. Current day, there are over 300 studies that indicate 10,000 steps a day can help lower blood pressure, increase heart health and reduce your BMI. 10,000 steps a day roughly translates into 5 miles a day. That's a pretty big goal for most of us. You can use a pedometer to find out your average (most adults average 1,000 to 3,000) and try to increase your steps little by little. If your average to start was 2,000 a day - aim for 2,500 next week, 3,000 the week after and so on.
In summary, I'm loving my Lumo Lift. I wish it tracked sleep patterns and that the app was compatible with more phones. I see those as the only negatives in a product filled with positives. I'm hopeful that my Lift can help me improve my posture and maybe even get fitter. I much prefer wearing this to something that is very visible and uncomfortable on my wrist. I was not compensated for my review and the opinions expressed here are solely my own.
Have you tried a fitness wearable? How did it work? I'd love to hear about it in the comments.