I work from home, and I’ll admit it: while I have a dedicated office with an office chair, I often work at my computer while sitting at the dining room table, or (eek!) on the couch. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that this is bad for my back. And I certainly feel the effects after slaving away at the computer after an eight-hour workday. There are plenty of ergonomic chairs that can help prevent you from slouching and ease the strain, as well as large back braces, or ergonomic back pads. The BetterBack Posture Support is one such product, but it employs an interesting design that makes it conducive to travel.
What Is the BetterBack Posture Support?
Designed in California, and featured on the venture capital TV series Shark Tank, the BetterBack Posture Support is a brace that’s made of memory foam. Position it around your lower back, then pull the straps over your knees and tighten it to help encourage proper posture.
It’s lightweight and has portable packaging. The BetterBack measures at 11” wide by 4” high by 12” deep, and weighs 0.84 kg. These dimensions make it easy to pop into your bag to bring to the office, up to the cottage or over to the coffee shop where you might be working, or even on a plane. It’s an affordable alternative to an expensive new office chair—especially if you work in an office where you have no control over the chair provided to you.
Wear it for a minimum of 15 minutes per day, and it will adjust to your shape for an optimal fit. Use it with virtually any type of chair to help correct your posture.
Opening the BetterBack Posture Support box (rather, bag)
I was immediately impressed with the clever packaging. It’s a basic, brown envelope labeled with all of the essential details, and suggesting places you can wear it, such as: at the office, on a plane, or even while meditating. (Never, you should note, wear it while driving). On the back of the packaging, I felt instantly better after reading the “Hello Beautiful” greeting welcoming me to the community of other users, in more than 115 countries, around the world. I was also encouraged to share my thoughts on social media about how the BetterBack Posture Support makes me feel. I’ll certainly get to that once the review period is over.
Pop open the bag, and the device is neatly stored into itself thanks to the built-in zipper.
Along with the product, you get a few pieces of printed material. The first includes handy instructions on how to wear it along with some tips. Another small card again encourages social media reviews, with a note from the inventor. It might seem like overkill (we get it, you need help promoting the product!). But when you consider the importance of helping small business owners succeed, it really does encourage you to want to help.
There’s also a coupon for $10 off with a gifting note that cleverly reads “I got your back” should you be happy with the product and want to recommend it to someone else. Thatcertainly suggests plenty of confidence in the device. The last card is a handwritten note from the owner, Katherine Krug, welcoming you: to the family, discussing her issues with sciatica pain, and providing her e-mail address for any questions or concerns.
Evaluation After Wearing the BetterBack Posture Support for A Few Weeks
I committed to wearing the BetterBack Posture Support for the recommended 15 minutes per day for a few weeks to put it through its paces. Often, I kept it on for a full 30 minutes at a time.
It was initially daunting once I unzipped the bag and looked inside. How am I supposed to wear this thing? But the four-step instruction card, with detailed graphics, made it easy. Place the brace portion around your back in a comfortable position, with your feet flat onthe floor. Hook the two round pads over each knee, and pull the adjustable straps to stack your spine into the right position. You might have to loosen it from around your knees a bit in order to pull really tight for a perfect fit.
An optional step is to slide the left strap into a clip on the right and pull the centre clip toward your body for an even tighter fit. I found this to be essential for getting myself into a good position. Keep in mind that if you usually work with a laptop actually on your lap, that won’t be possible while wearing this brace, as the straps would get in the way. But that’s a good thing, as you shouldn’t work like that for long periods of time anyway.
I could immediately feel a difference, and was comfortable wearing the brace for much longer than 15 minutes. Since you need to remove it any time you have to get up, plan your 15 minutes of wear-time for when you know you’ll be immersed in a specific desk activity for at least that long.
I found it particularly comfortable to wear cross-legged. Although, the inside left-strap would pop out of the clip on the right if I adjusted myself too much—which can get annoying if you tend to fidget a lot.
The fold-up design is convenient, with dedicated slots on either side for holding the knee cups and straps. But you might have a bit of difficulty stuffing everything back inside in a rush. Still, once you fit everything in and can secure the zipper, it’s easy product to carry with you, or pop into your bag.
Bottom Line About the BetterBack Posture Support
This isn’t the most sophisticated posture support device I’ve seen. If you tend to get up often (which any desk worker should), and want something a bit more permanent, a simple back brace for your chair, or an adjustable and ergonomic chair, might be the better investment. However, they are much more expensive. And you can only enjoy the benefits in one place, unless you lug a big back brace home with you whenever you are working from home, or bring it in your luggage which. Let’s face it, no one is going to do all that carrying unless you have severe back troubles.
This is a portable solution that you can use for a short period of time every day to help correct your posture. Office workers especially tend to sit in uncomfortable chairs, or for long periods of time, which can negatively impact posture and lead to back pain. For others, travel is the real clincher. It would be great to sit more comfortably, period, while flying. But being able to encourage yourself to sit up straight while you type away on your laptop from a middle seat, or work away in a hotel room lounge chair, can make a difference—even if it’s just for 15-30 minutes per day.
Is the BetterBack Posture Support life-changing? No. But it can help you straighten up, and encourage better posture over time. I found that after using it, I made a more conscious effort to sit up straighter during the times that I didn’t have it on as well. It’s a great travel companion, and an ideal gift for the office worker or frequently traveling businessperson who has everything.
Check out the BetterBack Posture Support at Best Buy Online.