Whether you're absorbed in work or on your phone, if your head is tilted even 15 degrees forward that's the equivalent of 27 pounds of weight being placed on your neck, according to New York-Presbyterian Och Spine Hospital. That's why adopting good posture is one relatively simple way to elevate your self-care routine. The best posture correctors can help encourage the habit, whether it's through a wearable electronic device or a strapped "brace" that aligns you more manually. Even everyday clothing solutions like posture bras or shirts can help if you're looking for the most discreet option. The key is to use the posture corrector regularly so you can reap its benefits.
Bustle reached out to Dr. Natalie Richards, a chiropractic physician, to learn more about what to look for when shopping for a posture correcting device.
Dr. Natalie Richards is the founder of Revive Chiropractic Wellness Center in Rockford, Illinois. She attended the Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa, and is trained in the chiropractic techniques of Gonstead, Diversified, Thompson drop, and Activator. She also is certified in the Webster Technique for chiropractic care during pregnancy and birth.
What To Look For When Shopping For The Best Posture Correctors
Posture correctors will remind you to straighten up in different ways. Some have straps to support your lower back or keep your shoulders from falling forward; however, Dr. Richards does warn it can still be "easy to drop your head forward while wearing those” so they will still require some active effort on your part.
For that reason, she recommends “the electronic ones that you can put on your back and will buzz every time you start to slouch.” If wearable tech isn't for you, I've also included the style of posture-correcting bra, belt, and shirt recommended by Dr. Richards. "Posture correcting shirts are a great option since you can wear them all day and it doesn’t require extra effort to remember to sit up straighter and roll your shoulders down and back," explains Richards.
But those items can get pricey, so if you're shopping more on a budget, a brace style with shoulder straps can still be a good option. Look for easy-to-adjust, lightweight ones that you'll be able to wear with ease either under or over your clothes.
For those who sit for hours each day at work, she also recommends this lumbar support pillow, along with this one. Dr. Richards also notes that posture correctors are a great place to start but daily exercises, like keeping your head against the headrest while driving or lying down with a rolled-up towel behind your head, will further encourage good posture.
And remember that it's always a good idea to check with your healthcare provider first to make sure the posture corrector you are eyeing is right for your specific needs.