If you work at a desk, you may know all about the pain and stiffness caused by poor posture. Taking a personal trainer into work to nag you into sitting up straight is probably not an option – but maybe a buzzing device can do the same job?
Three office workers bravely tested the Lumo Lift, a wearable clip that detects when you are slouching and reminds you with a small vibration.
So how did they get on? All three said the device worked, but to varying degrees of annoyance.
"I'm trying but it keeps buzzing, even when it feels like I'm sitting up really straight."
"It buzzes every two minutes. It's annoying but it's also annoying I have this bad habit."
The conclusion? While two of the test subjects got used to the buzzing to the extent that they ignored it, another wanted to throw it out of the window.
"I made the mistake of having it warn me after 10 seconds of slouching, rather than the suggested two minutes, so by the end of the week it was going off every 10 seconds and I wanted to throw the thing out of the window."
Despite being annoying, they agreed it was worth persevering with.
"I just have to train myself better to listen to it and not ignore it."
"It's hard – but it's hard work correcting habits in general."
Get up and move
We all know that too much sitting is bad for us – and it's not just an aching back that's the problem. Research shows that prolonged sitting (for eight to 12 hours or more a day) increases your risk of type 2 diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease and many other conditions – even if you exercise.
British people sit for 8.9 hours a day on average and one study suggested that, for those sitting more than seven hours a day, there is a 5% increased risk of premature death with each additional hour. In fact, too much sitting has a similar mortality rate to smoking.
So what can you do? Simply being aware of how much time you spend on your bum can encourage you to get up. If you are at work, try a standing desk or walk around for a few minutes every half an hour. When you're watching TV, don't zoom through the ad breaks. Make a habit of walking around or at least standing up during the commercial breaks.
Three gadgets that can help you to move more:
The Jawbone Up 3 Activity Tracker Wristband (£119.99) allows you to set 'idle alerts' and will vibrate when you've been inactive for your chosen amount of time.
The Garmin Vivofit (£59.99) has a Move Bar to show you how long you have been inactive, with an alert when it has gone past an hour.
The Nike+ FuelBand SE (£69.99) has a Move Reminder that will flash across the wristband at the 45 minute and 50 minute marks of the hour if you haven't had five continuous minutes of movement.