Being a software developer is less strenuous than many other jobs. And if not, then you're doing it wrong. Sitting on a chair for 8-10 hours per day though takes a big toll on your overall health, and particular on that back of yours. I don't care how ergonomic and forwardly bent your work chair is at work. Nobody was meant to sit for that many hours per day. And because of that I just picked up the Lumo Lift from Amazon
The Lumo Lift claims to help you avoid slouching by gently vibrating when it detects that you are doing so, and thus you can correct your posture throughout the day. It's small and discreet, but comes at somewhat of a hefty price point. At $79.99, it is not the cheapest wearable device, but it's also one of the few on the market that can do what it claims to do. If you're in the market for a wearable fitness device, then I would suggest you look somewhere else, but if you're like me and you sit for 60% of your human life, then maybe you can benefit from this tiny wearable.
One week with the Lumo Lift
I've been wearing the Lumo Life daily for about a week now to work, and pretty much anywhere else that I go, and one thing is for sure, my back is killing me now. Keeping a straight posture for more than 10 minutes at a time is exhausting for sure. But I think that's mainly due to the fact that I've spent so many years of my life slouched over a desk, and my back has just gotten used to it. Doing anything else, and it fights back. After about a week though, the haptic vibrations have definitely calmed down quite a bit. And more importantly I think, the Lift has become a part of my daily wardrobe without me noticing it too much. And I think that's a great sign of a good wearable device. You want it to do its thing without it getting in the way.
The Lift comes with a magnetic charging dock, like many other wearables, and only needs to be charged about twice a week. It charges relatively fast to 100% so if it ever dies you can throw on the charger for 10-15 minutes and know that it will probably last the rest of the day. It comes with both a black and white magnet to attach to your clothing and match your wardrobe. The Lift comes with an accompanying app for IOS or Android that keeps track of your steps and the amount of hours with good posture that you clocked in for the day. You can also set the amount of time that the Lift will wait before it notifies you of your bad posture.
Aside from being a posture monitoring device, the Life also acts as a step counter, which normally I would just shrug off, but this is the first wearable device that I've owned that can literally track my walking patterns from sun up to sun down. For one, the battery has a life of about 4 days before it needs recharging, and secondly, you kind of forget that it's there, so you never really take it off. It just keeps recording all day long. As far as accuracy is concerned, it's reporting about the same numbers that my other wearables, including my phone, report, so I'll have to assume that it's relatively accurate.
And it doesn't require your phone to be around in order to work. It can store plenty of data locally, and then when it finds your phone it will sync automatically. Again, a good sign of a decent wearable device. You don't need to be bothered to do anything but just carry it with you. There is one sole button on the device, which can be used to turn on and off vibrations. Double pressing the button will also recalibrate the Lift and mark your current posture as the baseline to go on.
What I liked
For the most part, you never really notice that the Lift is there. It's attached with a very powerful magnet, which comes in either white or black to match your clothes, and it fits pretty snuggly under your shirt. It's the only wearable device that I've purchased so far that can count my steps the entire day because I don't need to take it off. My Moto 360 (ver. 2.0) is a fantastic wearable, but as soon as I get home I take it off and put it on its charging station and won't put it on until the following day. And the Lift keeps on going.
The battery life is set to last about 4 days, and after a full day of wearing it, the battery was about 75%, so it looks like it's going to hold true to those claims, which is definitely convenient as I tend to forget to charge things every now and then.
Another cool feature is that you can work your way up to a better posture in subtle increments. You can set the Lift to vibrate at any number of seconds or minutes after slouching. The starting time is 2 minutes when you first turn it on. Which means, after 2 minutes of slouching it will begin to vibrate. You can then work your way down to 1 minute, then 30 seconds, then one day 3 seconds. Personally, I started it off with a 10 second warning period, which I later had to increase as near the end of the day, my posture has all but given up and having it vibrate every 3 seconds became somewhat of a nuisance.
What needs some work
It definitely makes a difference, but it's also definitely far from perfect. A couple of things keep me from giving this wearable a high score. The vibration is fairly weak and short lived, so you'll have to place it somewhere where you'll definitely notice it, such as directly on your collar bone. Also, it doesn't really "coach" you to a better posture, as if you're like me you have no idea what that is. I sort of sat up straighter and got a buzz after 5 seconds, then adjusted again and again and again, just to have the Lift buzz non-stop. I would of definitely have preferred if the Lift buzzed until I corrected my posture to the correct position.
After a week of using it, I'm definitely noticing that I'm trying to sit straighter more often now. And the more I get used to it, the less of a hassle that is. My back is getting stronger and slowly my body is starting to remember how to stand and sit like modern day man and not like our long forgotten ancestors. And while the price tag is still somewhat hefty, personally for me, I'd say that the functionality of the Lift is definitely worth it.
Did you find this article helpful?
Stay up to date with my weekly coding tips!
Walter G. is a software engineer, startup co-founder, former CTO of several tech companies and currently teaches programming for a coding bootcamp. He has been blogging for the past 5 years and is an avid BMX rider, bio-hacker
and performance enthusiast.