Back pain is something many people experience throughout their lifetime. In fact, up to 80% of the American population experiences some sort of back pain throughout his or her lifetime to some degree. Some experience minor pain that comes and goes occasionally while others experience constant sharp pain that only worsens each time they make a move. It may come on due to a fall or lifting objects that are too heavy, or it may come on slow and gradually and build up over time. Eventually, it can progress to a level that makes it impossible to sit, stand, walk or sleep.
Regardless of the type of back pain you experience, unless you improve your posture and make a conscious effort to sit up, stand and walk properly, it will not disappear. A chiropractor can help align you, but the minute you leave his office, it is up to you to maintain it with proper posture and stretching exercises. While this may be the ideal scenario, many Americans have trouble with posture, and do not even realize when they are hunched over or causing damage to their nerves and spine.
Luckily there’s a new gadget that can help remind you immediately when your posture needs to be corrected and even tell you how. The LUMOBack, created by zero2one, was introduced in 2011 and has increasingly gained buzz since its release. The LUMOBack is like a posture coach that goes with you everywhere you go. It includes a sensor placed on a special belt that sits in the center of your back and buzzes to remind you when you are standing, sitting or walking with poor posture. The LUMOBack is also accompanied by a mobile app that connects wirelessly to the LUMOBack sensor used to correct your posture. The LUMOback retails for $149.95 and is available at various retailers, including online via the LUMOback website, at Amazon.com and at Apple stores nationwide. Currently, LUMOback is offering a $30 instant rebate if you purchase the LUMOback and use the promo code HOLIDAY at checkout.
The LUMOback has the capability to deliver real-time posture and body movement feedback directly through your mobile phone. By implementing the LUMOback, taking advantage of its countless features and using it in conjunction with the mobile app, users have the capability of making positive changes in their posture which can eventually lead to significant improvement in overall health.
Slouching and Sitting Up Straight Tracking
The LUMOback can show how often you are slouching compared to how often you sit up straight. It will allow you to view your progress over time as well and even provide a posture score to show if you are truly improving or not.
Sit Time and Active Time Tracking
If you are trying to become more active, either to lose weight, get in better shape or just improve your overall health, the LUMOback can help you by showing you how much you are sitting down compared to being active by running or walking.
Track How Many Steps You Take
The LUMOback can sense how many steps you are taking to motivate you and measure your daily activity level.
Track and Monitor Your Sleep Positioning
The LUMOback can help track how long you are sleeping, as well as the position you are in. This helps you assess the quality of your sleep and which positions help you feel more rested compared to others.
In order to avoid distractions while driving, the LUMOback will track the time you are driving separately and not use it when calculating your total posture score. It can also be shut off while driving to prevent the alerts from the LUMOback distracting your or startling you unnecessarily while on the road.
The LUMOback avatar can provide real-time visual corrections to help improve and eventually perfect your posture.
Tracks Statistics over Various Time Frames
The LUMOback can track your real time activity as well as compile data for you to show how you have progressed, or not, over time. It displays hourly, daily, weekly and monthly statistics on your posture and activity level compared to goals you have set for yourself and the activity of other LUMOback users.
How It Works
The essential function of the LUMOback is to monitor your posture throughout the day and help guide you in improving it. The LUMOback creators refer to it as a personal posture trainer that gently corrects your posture in an effort to lead you to a healthier spine and an overall healthier lifestyle. It provides constant reminders to sit up straight, take more steps and be more mindful of the position you are in at all times, even when you are sleeping.
The LUMOback goal is to guide you into maintaining a neutral pelvic position by primarily measuring your pelvic tilt angle. Experts believe that the key to proper posture and decreased back pain is a neutral pelvic position. Due to these beliefs, LUMOback creators have worked with spine physicians and therapists to develop a gadget that measures pelvic tilt in order to help position the body in the desired neutral pelvic position. By providing constant feedback, the LUMOback can train your body to understand what a neutral pelvis position is so that, when you slouch, lean or shift your weight to one side or the other, the LUMOboack will let you know and help you correct it.
The LUMOback sensor itself is slim and lightweight. It measures only 8.5 mm thick, 4.1 cm wide and 10 cm long. It is approximately the size of a credit card and fits on a black, elastic waistband belt through a loop on each end. It sits flat on your back just as any other belt would and most users have said they usually forget they are wearing it. The belt can be worn over or under clothes, making it discreet if you prefer. It is available in small or large and both sizes are also adjustable with straps on either side. The belt itself measures approximately 3.5 cm wide. You can wear it with any type of clothing attire, including business and exercise gear, since it easily fits through belt hoops or can be worn directly on skin. It should be worn on the lower back, just above the hip bones. The sensor and belt should fit snug to prevent it from shifting, but not too tight so that it becomes uncomfortable to wear. In order to make sure it is comfortable and something you can wear all day, the LUMOback should ideally be worn on the small of your back where there is a gradual, natural curve. This makes it easy to wear whether you are standing or seated. When first putting it on, the app will provide ample guidance and assistance to ensure that the belt and sensor are worn properly.
The sensor is equipped with a battery that can be charged and lasts for up to six days of use on a single charge. There is an LED light on the sensor itself that will flash green if the sensor has more than a day’s charge on it or yellow if it will need to be charged soon. The LUMOback takes approximately one hour to fully charge once it is plugged in. It is charged using a standard USB connector cord and you probably already have several of these cords at home for another device such as an Android phone or eBook reader.
The LUMOback sensor should be worn on the lower, center portion of your back in order to send and receive proper feedback. To notify users of bad posture, it provides a variety of signals with varying degrees of bad posture thresholds. The LUMOback’s main function is giving a quick, gentle buzz to let the user know that posture needs to be corrected. The device has two options for the buzz alert feature. You can select the “pulse” if you prefer the sensor to buzz gently until you correct your posture, or you can select a single buzz notifying you each time posture is to be corrected. In addition to selecting between a pulse and a single buzz, you can also determine how strong you want the pulse or buzz to be. You can set the intensity level according to a percentage from a slight touch to a more intense pulse. After selecting the vibration intensity, you will also be able to select how long you want the sensor to allow you to remain in a bad posture position before it sends a signal for the first time. Your options are 1, 5 or 10 seconds.
LUMOback Mobile App
The LUMOback is intended to be used in conjunction with the free mobile app that was created in conjunction with it. The mobile app is IOS compatible on iPhone 4S, iPhone 5, iPod Touch (5th generation and newer), iPad (3rd and 4th generation), iPad Air and iPad mini. It has also recently become available on Android devices equipped with Android 4.3 and above. Android devices that support the LUMOback include the Nexus 4 and 5, the HTC One, the Samsung S3 and S4 and the Motorola G. The LUMOback uses Bluetooth technology in order to connect to the mobile app wirelessly and send information and signals.
The app connects wirelessly via Bluetooth to the LUMOback sensor that rests on your back and provides immediate feedback regarding your posture. It provides daily reports on how well your posture was throughout the day and how often it had to be corrected. It also tracks and compares daily activities that include how many steps you took, sunning, walking, sitting, standing and even sleeping.
The mobile app also features a social network of people made up of other LUMOback users. This connects users with other individuals suffering from back pain and poster problems as well. It allows users to exchange tips and advice with others experiencing the same type of pain and help one another make improvements with posture and pain management. In addition, all of your goals are also compared to the accomplishments of other LUMOback users so you can see how you measure not only compared to your own goals but to their measurements and goals as well.
One of the favorite features of the LUMOback app is the ability to set individual goals related to posture and activity levels. Through the LUMOback app, users can see the number of times they stood up compared to the goal they have set for themselves and the average of others. The LUMO average, as it is referred to on the interface, shows the average other LUMO users are accomplishing with the same activity.
When monitoring your steps taken, you are also able to see how you are doing compared to your goal, in addition to the total number of steps you have taken, the miles you have walked and the calories you have burned. The app even has the ability of providing information on how to better meet your individual goals if you should need it.
Just about the only time you will not be able to wear your LUMOback is while you are in the shower or when on an airplane. The LUMOback cannot get wet since it is not waterproof. It can be worn while exercising but if you are sweating extremely to the point where clothes are being drenched in sweat, the LUMOback should preferably be worn outside clothing versus underneath.
While on an airplane, most electronics need to be shut off at take off and landing. Some airlines allow them to be turned back on while in flight and, in this case, you will be able to use your LUMOblack while in the air. If not, simply shut if off using the ‘on’ and ‘off’ touch button. You will need to hold the button down for one second. The sensor will vibrate and the LED light will turn red. This will indicate that the device is now off and no longer sending signals to your mobile device. Once the sensor can be turned on again, simply hold down the ‘on’ and ‘off’ touch button once again for one second and you should see the LED light turn green. This means the sensor is back on and can once again begin reading your posture signals.
The LUMOback engineers are constantly at work finding ways to improve the LUMOback and add to its’ already abundant list of features. They are currently working on adding more tracking features and, as they are created, they will be automatically sent to sensors that are already in place. Similar to a phone software update, the sensors will be updated remotely as improvements tested and implemented.
The LUMOBack is backed by doctors and chiropractors nationwide, including Dr. Rajan Perkash, the company’s medical advisor. He is the head of Neurosurgery and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Departments at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation Mountain View location. Dr. Perkash is Board Certified and has specialized in spinal pain management for over 15 years.
Putting the LUMOback to Work
When you receive the LUMOback sensor, the first thing you will need to do is charge it. While it is charging, you can download the mobile app on your smart phone or tablet and create an account. After the account is created and your LUMOback is fully charged (the LED light is green), you will need to connect the LUMOback to your mobile device via Bluetooth and calibrate the LUMOback using the mobile app interface. Once your mobile device recognizes the LUMOback sensor and it is calibrated, you can begin using it.
If more than once person wants to use the LUMOback, all of the previous user’s data must be erased from it, and it must be re-calibrated under a new user account. Ideally, each person should have his or her own LUMOback in order to be able to wear it regularly and monitor feedback for a constant, extended period of time. Complete instructions for using the device, setting up an account, connecting it via Bluetooth and calibrating it can be found inside LUMOback packaging and on the LUMOback website as well.
Pros & Cons
- Device is comfortable and easy to wear over or under clothes.
- Can be worn with any type of attire, whether at the office, in uniform or at the gym.
- Works when you are sitting, standing, running or walking.
- Connects to your mobile iOS or Android device via Bluetooth to work in sync with the free mobile app.
- Relatively inexpensive when compared to the cost of chiropractic visits and massages.
- Has a long battery life that does not require charging every day.
- Can be used with more than one user.
- Compares your activity to your goals and the achievements of other LUMOback users.
- No visual display of battery life to show when charging is or will be necessary.
- If you have to wear a belt with your clothes other than the LUMOback belt, it can be bothersome to have both on at the same time.
The LUMOback has a money back guarantee of 30 days from the date your LUMOback is shipped. If you are not completely satisfied with LUMOback, you can return it for a full refund prior to the 30 day time frame expiring by contacting LUMOback support.
When it comes to making the decision of purchasing a new gadget, there is nothing better than reading reviews and testimonials from other users. This can give you some insight as to if and how the item will benefit you in any way, and if it is worth spending your hard earned cash on it. The LUMOback has received rave reviews from users and test groups, and has shown to improve overall health, energy levels, pain and posture after just a short period of using the device. Read for yourself what other LUMOback users have to say about the product.
“My back started to hurt about a year after I started wearing a duty belt at work and the pain got progressively worse. After seeing a chiropractor several times per week and not noticing a tremendous difference as expected, I read about the LUMOback on a back pain management blog and decided to try it out. After only a few weeks of wearing it, I felt a significant improvement in my back and noticed that I was not slouching nearly as much as I used to.”
“I did not think I had bad posture at all but apparently my wife did because she came home from the Apple store with my new iPhone and an extra gadget that I did not ask for, the LUMOback. She said it was an extra birthday gift for me to help improve my posture and help me manage my back pain with something other than Tylenol and Advil. I was skeptical at first and did not really want to wear another belt but, considering she spent money on it, I thought I should at least try it. After a few days of wearing it, I was shocked to find out that, even when I thought I was walking straight, I was still slouching. I definitely made me more aware of my posture and showed me how to correct it over time.”
John Anthony Vihaney
“My chiropractor recommended LUMOback to me after I told him I not only suffered from increasingly worse back pain but I was always feeling tired and fatigued as well. He told me that back problems can often lead to decreased energy levels and suggested I give the LUMOback a shot. I started wearing the LUMOback three weeks ago and I am already noticing a difference. My posture has improved, my pain has gone down and my energy levels have increased as well. I used to get very tired and sleeping as the afternoon hit and now I am actually able to make it to the gym after work instead of heading home for a nap.”
“I just started using the LUMOback about a week ago and have noticed that I am definitely standing and sitting up straighter while wearing it. I am more conscious of my positioning, especially right after I hear the buzz and, by the end of the day, I am not in as much pain as I used to be prior to purchasing it. When I am not wearing it, I am not as conscious of it but that is only when I’m swimming or in the shower so it does not really apply. In my opinion, it is a small price to pay compared to the benefits this device provides.”
LUMOback Home page
LUMOback How It Works page
LUMOback Science and Research Page