Tracking Posture: A Look Forward to Technology for Preventing Back Pain
We all know the fitness trackers that help keep track of how many steps we take throughout the day, how well we sleep, how many flights of stairs we climb, but what if there was one to track our posture? What if this posture tracker could prevent low back pain, which is the most common, costly and disabling musculoskeletal disorder?
That is exactly what a research study out of The Journal Of Orthopaedic And Sports Physical Therapy explored – the feasibility of a lumbopelvic monitor and feedback device to change postural behavior. This study is the first step in discovering an effective evaluation tool for the posture monitor, and the study design was aimed towards at-risk groups of healthcare workers, because let’s face it, healthcare is a laborious field to work in!
The device works to minimize hazardous posture during daily activities by having an audio feedback when the subject sustains a forward bending posture that exceeds the postural threshold (greater than 45 degrees, for longer than 5 seconds). The audio feedback serves to alert and remind the subject that the posture they are currently in may be an “at-risk” position with the anticipated response being decreased time within that posture.
The popularity of wearable fitness trackers shows no signs of slowing, and it appears to be inspiring further research in how other movements can also be tracked to not only improve fitness but to prevent negative events that may lead to low back pain. Until this technology is perfected and available to the masses, the PTs at Body Gears are well equipped in postural training strategies from activities of sleeping, sitting, standing and everything in between!
Ribeiro D, Sole G, Abbott J, Milosavljevic S. The effectiveness of a lumbopelvic monitor and feedback device to change postural behavior: a feasibility randomized controlled trial. The Journal Of Orthopaedic And Sports Physical Therapy [serial online]. September 2014;44(9):702-711.
Author: Dr. Melissa McCann PT, DPT