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If you are wondering whether posture correctors actually work and whether they work long term, you are in the right place.
Today I share 2 personal experiences and 1 scientific research about this subject.
I’m ready to start but first I wanted to share my personal view on finding the best posture corrector.
Why Would You Need a Posture Corrector?
I spend quite some time sitting in front of my laptop while working in all sorts of cafes, hotels and coworking spaces (yes, life of a remote worker has its benefits).
I do my best to maintain a healthy posture by doing all sorts of exercises for core, upper back and forward head but…it’s very hard to negate all the negative effects that prolonged sitting can have on the posture.
In fact, I would even push it all the way to say that it’s extremely difficult because, think about it, you might spend 4-6+ hours per day working on your computer with just about every negative thing that a poor posture brings:
- Rounded shoulders
- Forward head posture
- Rounded upper back
- Tight neck flexors and so on
Can you really negate all that with 30-60 minute workout 3 times per week? Even if it was posture-specific workout, it would be hard (mainly from the consistency point of view though – postural changes can take quite some time to see).
I would also add that I naturally am an anti-gimmicky type of guy. My view on many fitness tools and machines can be described with one single word – toys.
Having said this, I gave myself the benefit of the doubt in order to study the subject with as little assumptions (and bias) as possible.
So I asked around and discovered that two close people had the experience of using posture correctors – my friend and…my mom!
Do Posture Correctors Work?
There are two types of evidence that you could use in order to answer that question:
- Scientific that is based on research
- Anecdotal that is based on one’s personal experience
Anecdotal evidence is very subjective but…it doesn’t stop it from real.
So I asked my friend and my mother about their own experience using posture corrector for a period of time.
My Friend’s Experience
Important detail right from the start – my friend had to wear a posture brace after his collarbone surgery.
The doctors wanted him to maintain a specific posture during the recovery stage so his collarbone would grow in the right direction (so to speak).
Here is what he said about the overall experience:
Overall I felt a lot more confident!
This thing would pull my shoulders back and give me no choice but to stay in the right position as I was getting used to it and developing muscle memory.
Given my condition (post-op) I didn’t HAVE to wear the brace but my doctor advised that it would help to keep titanium bolts in place (that was more of a precautionary measure).
Unlike some other people, I did not experience any discomfort while wearing it throughout the day for 2 weeks.
Quite the opposite, I was able to completely relax my upper back musculature while maintaining a good posture without much effort.
My Mother’s Experience
Unlike my friend, my mother is somewhat a more typical user of a posture corrector as she is not recovering from any kind of collarbone operation.
I asked her to share her photos of wearing a posture corrector and, I think, you can see the difference (she also asked for some privacy hence the smiley faces 😀 ):
Here she is sharing some of her personal experience:
I bought this posture brace in Ireland and it felt like the quality was really good.
Unlike another posture corrector that I got years ago, this one got a solid back carcass which supports my spine whenI wear it.
I can only wear it for about 2 hours per day and need to take it off after that because it becomes uncomfortable.
I also recommend wearing some kind of a t-shirt that has, at least, some sleeves because I don’t like the feeling the brace produces in my armpit area (it starts rubbing that area and I also feel like I need to wear something underneath it).
All in all, I find it extremely useful.
Sounds quite promising but I wanted to have something more solid and..hmm…scientific?
After some search I discovered a study called “Scapular Bracing and Alteration of Posture and Muscle Activity in Overhead Athletes With Poor Posture“.
I won’t bother you with the details (because you can just click that link and read the entire thing yourself) and instead quote some of the findings right here:
Use of a scapular brace might improve shoulder posture and muscle activity in overhead athletes with poor posture.
In plain English this means that, overhead athletes (e.g. baseball players) with poor posture benefited from posture brace which was observed through the position of their scapulae.
This means that their shoulder position improved which can make this discovery useful for anyone suffering from shoulder issues (e.g. shoulder impingement).
Do Posture Correctors Work Long Term?
Based on my current research and understanding of the postural subject, the answer to this question is – no, they don’t.
That is, if you wear a posture corrector for 2 weeks and then just stop…it just want last if you continue your standard prolonged sitting and office working routine.
There needs to be something that would counteract the negative effects of sitting all day!
Now to paraphrase this question…
What if you wore a posture corrector for 2 hours each and every day…would that help in the long-run?
Based on everything that I’ve seen so far, the answer to this question is – yes.
Does posture corrector work…does it work long term?
These are tricky, subjective questions that I tried to answer in this post by sharing experiences of the people that I personally know and trust.
I also shared some research on a somewhat usable demographic that, I hope, has been helpful.
Will it help you?
I don’t know…but here are some of the best posture braces we reviewed – a good place to start!