According to a Digital 2019 report by HootSuite and We Are Social, the average American spends about 6 hours and 31 minutes a day online. That is a lot of screen time, and it takes a toll on our posture. The term "Tech Neck" refers to the neck, shoulder, and upper back pain that is a result of spending long periods online with improper posture.

We may start with good intentions for sitting with upright posture; however, as our postural muscles begin to fatigue, we end up looking like this.

Sitting in this position for long periods creates muscle imbalances by stretching out the postural muscles in your back and neck (weakness) and shortening the postural muscles in your chest (tightness). These muscle imbalances cause permanent changes to your posture that lead to painful joints in your neck, upper back, and shoulders. Low back pain is also associated with these muscular imbalances.

Using a combination of stretching, strengthening, and postural realignment using a posture correction brace will help retrain your body and reverse the negative effects of poor posture.

Over time poor posture can lead to breathing problems due to compression on the diaphragm and digestive issues due to compression on the stomach and intestines.

Stretching

A simple way to stretch out your chest muscles is to lay on a foam roller as shown here. This provides a very comfortable and effective stretch. You can lay on the roller for as long as it feels comfortable. 

Performed for a few minutes each day this will lengthen your chest muscles and keep them from pulling your shoulders forward.

For those who are unable to get on the floor or don't have access to a foam roller, another way to stretch your chest muscles is a corner stretch. Simply put your forearms on each side of the corner and lean in. Adjust the height and width of your arms until a good stretch is achieved. Hold the stretch for 10 seconds and repeat 5 times.

Strengthening

See the video below for some easy exercises to strengthen your back and neck muscles. There is also some great information about other factors that can affect your posture as you age.

Posture Correctors

Posture correctors are a range of braces and biofeedback devices created to help reposition the head, neck, and shoulders into a more neutral position. 

Posture correction braces provide tactile cues at your shoulders and upper back when your body begins to move out of alignment. Posture correction biofeedback devices are relatively new to the market but are growing in popularity among consumers as they are low profile and less restrictive to wear.

Do Posture Correctors Work?

Posture correctors decrease pain by realigning the spine and shoulders to a neutral position, taking the excess load off the surrounding joints. If worn as prescribed, they can begin the process of retraining the postural muscles. 

Posture Correctors work best in conjunction with stretching and strengthening exercises; however, they are a good starting place to improve your overall posture.

Are Posture Correctors Bad For You?

No, they aren't bad for you; they are a useful tool when starting on your journey to improve your posture. Correcting your posture with a brace will provide pain relief and begin the task of retraining your muscles. Our bodies tend to adapt to the position in which we spend the most time. However, stretching and strengthening are an integral part of this treatment to promote long term results.

How Long Should You Wear a Posture Corrector?

When first starting to use a posture corrector, wear it for 15 to 30 minutes a day working up to about 4 hours per day. Wear it while you are at a computer or performing an activity that generally causes pain until your body adjusts to the new position.

~Posture correctors are not for use during sleeping as your postural muscles are relaxed when you are lying down.

~Posture correctors can be beneficial while working out to improve alignment while strengthening other areas of the body. They should not be worn while stretching and exercising the chest and upper back muscles.

 

7 Best Back Braces for Posture Correction

 

1. Truweo Posture Corrector for Men and Women 

The Truweo Posture Corrector is made in the USA and is FDA approved. Its unisex design is latex-free, fits chest sizes from 30 to 43 inches, and has easily adjustable velcro straps. Instructional Video on Amazon

What Customers Liked:

  • ~Comfortable and discreet to wear under clothes
  • ~Easy to put on
  • ~Lightweight and easy to pack for travel
  • ~Easily adjustable
  • ~Good customer service

Common Complaints:

  • ~No plus size
  • ~Doesn't fit well for very petite people
  • ~Strong neoprene smell upon opening package 

    *Check Best Price on Amazon

     

      2. Flexguard Support Back Brace Posture Corrector Unisex 

      The Flexguard Support Back Brace Posture Corrector has a durable design that is comfortable to wear. It has cushioned straps and waistband support for the lower back. The brace ships with a Posture Guide that has stretches and postural stabilization exercises. Demonstration video on Amazon.

      What Customers Liked:

      • ~Extra pads included for underarms
      • ~Easily adjustable
      • ~Provides both upper and lower back support

      Common Complaints:

      • ~Difficult sizing
      • ~Discomfort at underarms
      • ~Pads for underarms included in package but no instructions for use
      • ~Faulty stitching on some units                

       

      *Check Best Price on Amazon

       

        3. Upright Go 2 Smaller Posture Corrector

        The Upright and Go 2 is a smart posture tracker with no straps or velcro. It sticks to your back via medical grade adhesive. The device delivers a vibration alert when the wearer deviates from a precalibrated posture. There are downloadable apps for iOS and Android for tracking postural improvements in real-time.

         

        In the box: the UPRIGHT GO posture device, a travel case, USB charging cable, 9 hypoallergenic medical-grade adhesives, and a user manual.

         

        What Customers Liked:

        • ~No straps or sizing requirements
        • ~Not visible through clothes
        • ~Allows tracking of measurable change
        • ~Comfortable
        • ~App is user friendly

        Common Complaints:

        • ~Stick of adhesive tape is inconsistent 
        • ~Vibrates when leaning forward intentionally
        • ~Higher price

        *Check Best Price on Amazon

         

        4. Berlin & Daughter Posture Corrector Unisex

        The Berlin & Daughter Posture Corrector has a unique design that is super soft and stretchy for increased comfort. It has two adjustment variations, one closure option over the chest, and another closure option over the abdomen for increased pull back on shoulders. It has a soft and stretchy design for increased comfort. It comes in sizes XS, S, M, and L.

         

        What Customers Liked:

        • ~Two strap closure variations
        • ~100% refund or replace guarantee
        • ~No plastic
        • ~Excellent customer service

        Common Complaints:

        • ~Runs one size large
        • ~Discomfort at shoulders and underarms

         

        *Check Best Price on Amazon

         

        5. Sawyer Products Posture Corrector for Men and Women

        The Sawyer Products Posture Corrector is FDA approved. It is made of lightweight neoprene and can be worn either under or over clothing. It features durable, padded straps, metal brackets, and breathable fabric that allows for comfortable movement.

         

        What Customers Liked:

        • ~Padded straps for extra comfort
        • ~Easily adjustable

        Common Complaints:

        • ~One size fits all not suitable for larger body types

         

        *Check Best Price on Amazon

         

        6. Tubnvoot Posture Corrector Back Brace For Men and Women

        The Tubnvoot Posture Corrector Back Brace provides full back support, ergonomic design that has adjustable straps to fit waist circumferences from 25 to 42 inches. Made with high-quality materials, it is both comfortable and breathable. Instructional video on Amazon.

        What Customers Liked:

        • ~Soft and lightweight
        • ~Easy to put on and adjust
        • ~No underarm discomfort

        Common Complaints:

        • ~Visible under clothes
        • ~Velcro problems for larger waist sizes

         

        *Check Best Price on Amazon

         

        7. Evoke Pro Posture Corrector for Women and Men

        The Evoke Pro Posture Corrector is FDA approved. It has an ergonomic design that molds comfortably to your body. It can be work over or under your clothing and has armpit pads for added comfort. The flexibility of neoprene, coupled with the front buckle design makes it very easy to put on and adjust while wearing. Fits chest sizes 20 to 40 inches.

        An instructional e-book with exercises and a stretch band come in the package.

        What Customers Liked:

        • ~Simple design
        • ~Effective posture correction
        • ~Undetectable under clothing

        Common Complaints:

        • ~Doesn't pull shoulders back enough
        • ~Underarm discomfort

        *Check Best Price on Amazon

        In Summary

        Posture correctors are a tool to assist in correcting posture. They should not be so tight that movement is entirely restricted. Your body, held tightly in a position is not what corrects your posture. 

        The brace should provide firm correction but allow for normal movement; it should serve as a reminder of what good posture feels like and enable you to make the necessary adjustments with your muscles to improve strength. It's the muscle adjustments that create permanent change.

        Don't expect results over-night, it took time for your muscles to adapt to your current posture, and it will take some time for them to adjust to the new position you are trying to achieve. Try to be patient.

        If you have sensitive skin, be sure to wear a light t-shirt under the brace to avoid getting a rash.