Early Monday afternoon I felt tension in my neck and realized that I was again leaned forward over my desk with my head angled toward the computer screen. I switched to a standing posture and decided it was time to test out my new posture corrector. Clearly checking in with myself on posture was not getting me through even the first day of the work week. I had recently purchased a posture corrector on Amazon and I did not make it 5 minutes before the straps were digging into the area under my arms. Fortunately, this posture corrector came with pads that I could cover the straps with, so after adding the strap covers, I put the corrector back on. The Velcro strap covers are neoprene, like most of the material in this posture corrector, so they provide quite a bit of cushion and resolved the discomfort of straps digging in.
I noticed a couple of differences immediately. The corrector is far less comfortable in a poor posture. If I let my shoulders roll forward, the straps are uncomfortable on the front of my shoulders. If I try to reach my arms forward, rather that have them at a 90 degree angle, my movement is restricted. This was helpful because it immediately prompted me to correct the position of my keyboard, which was pushed back on my desk surface, rather near the edge of my desk where it belongs.
Having a friend take pictures of you while sitting or standing at your workstation can give you a sense of how your posture looks while you work. This was helpful for me to see the difference in my posture with and without the posture corrector. I was surprised at how differently I was positioned with a posture corrector than when I try to sit or stand without one. My shoulders feel pulled back, more so than when trying to sit or stand with correct posture. Pulling the shoulders back help remind me to keep my head upright rather than pitched forward which I believe is the greatest benefit of all.
The posture corrector made me notice actions and movements that result in poor posture which I had not realized. Because of this, the constant reminder was more helpful to me than setting a timer or relying on my own notice to alert me to posture issues. Some examples include looking down at my cell phone to make or receive calls, or send messages. The first day, I began to feel tired after wearing the posture corrector for only 10 minutes, I took it off for an hour or so, and wore it again for a little over 20 minutes the next time. It is probably a good indication of how poor my posture is to begin with that standing in a correct posture tired me out after 10 minutes. Amusingly enough, after such a short time, my neck felt more relaxed since my head was no longer pitched forward toward my computer monitor. It was not comfortable, but I do not believe it is meant to be comfortable. It seems that the intention of a posture corrector is to make us noticeably less comfortable when our posture slips, and this corrector was effective in doing just that.