HealthStatus spoke with Cid Carver of UpRight to talk about their new wearable to help you improve your posture.
Tell me about your interesting background?
I moved out to Israel almost six years ago just after graduating from University. I am originally from Cleveland, OH actually. Just came out here on vacation and stayed which worked out very well for me. There is just huge huge huge hi-tech wearable bio-med industry out here. It’s just second silicon valley in Tel Aviv. It’s been truly remarkable to be a part of that. There are more than 500,000 internationals from the US, Canada, UK all of that living in Tel Aviv and greater Tel Aviv area. So, a very multicultural melting pot out here which is cool. I have a sports background and have been working with other wearable technology companies. I joined UpRight’s team almost 8 months ago. It has been so phenomenal true start up style things are taking off. We did so much in a short amount of time. It’s been awesome to be here.
Can you share some background about the company?
Upright was started by Oded Cohen and two other pilots from the units that he used to fly in Liran Doror and Ori Fruhauf. All three of them are pilots and they started the company in 2014. They launched the first product in 2015 on Indiegogo. Had a very successful campaign. The idea came from Oded’s mom she was slouching she had such back problems and back pain. And he said this is crazy I have to find a way to stop this. And then he started to dig into it and realized that slouching and back pain is actually a world epidemic. 1.9 billion people suffer from lower back pain from slouching from stress on the upper neck. Today we have tech neck and screen slouch and all of this and people aren’t even aware that just by improving your posture you improve your breathing, your productivity, your focus, and your energy level. It’s phenomenal. It’s not just decreasing back pain it’s so much other health elements that are being corrected.
UpRight started shipping out in Dec 2015 to all the first backers to Indiegogo. 2016 was our first full year in the market. Today we are sold worldwide, you can find us in retailers and we have a booming online shop, which is great. More than 13,000 devices have been shipped so far. We have had successful case studies with professional clinics in Canada and the US. We just partnered with Kessler in the US and a few other clinics in Israel. Tel Aviv University did a clinical study with us as well. And then corporate wellness programs with Simmons SAP and Ernst & Young where we saw increased productivity and decreased back pain in nearly all of the participants. Today we are happy to share that we are coming out with the second product. It is a little smaller, sleeker, easier and simpler to use more accessible to a wider range in the market. The only difference to the new UpRight Go compared to the existing UpRight Pro is that it’s only for the upper back and the screen sloucher, opposed to the UpRight Pro which can be worn on the upper back or lower back, a little more for people who are definitely dedicated to their training. So, that’s where we are. Gearing up for this KickStarter and to get it going.
Were your clinical trials focused on improving posture or back pain issues? And you mentioned increased productivity. How does that fit in?
With the clinics, in terms of what we wanted to see was people who came to the clinics, we focused on improving posture. A lot of people need to improve posture because they have some sort of discomfort in the back, a pain point, and then usually the root cause of that is posture. It can be other things than that, that are more severe but one of the things is posture. We have a few other clinical studies that haven’t finished yet that are still in the works.
On the corporate wellness what we do we check with the office workers the employees are the productivity the focus and if there is back pain relief and overall improvement of posture. If there was posture improvement and if they did build muscle memory. Because we know that it takes 21 days to form a new habit. That is one of the main points with the training program.
When do I put this on, how long do I wear it?
Depends on you. The training programs range from 5 to 10 minutes and then you build up to 60 minutes.
So we start there. It is suggested that we put the UpRight probably by your computer or where you work and then start when you start your working session. If you want to start in the afternoon, that is your choice. But when we are going to spend the most time sitting throughout the day.
How and where do I attach it?
There are no straps, nothing like that, no shoulders back and trying to buckle and click. There is a double sided velcro adhesive sticker. One side of the Velcro sticks to the device and one side is a medical grade hypo allergenic adhesive, that you literally put the sticker on the device and the other on your back. On the upper back right between your shoulder blades or on your lower back just between your hips.
Explain the training sessions to me.
You put in your details, height, age, how much you are sitting, and an estimate on how much you slouch as well. Then it will start you off on a training program based on the details you put in. Totally confidential of course. It can start you anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes. And it can start you anywhere from 2 to 4 days per week. And then it builds up from there building muscle memory and consistency as well. Consistency is very key with this. We strongly suggest, it is not necessarily about, sitting for 5 hours in an upright position I would say you need to sit anywhere from 5 to 60 minutes and then if you want to get up and move around practicing your upright posture. But you want to build a consistent habit and routine of holding good posture and building that core strength from your lower back and training your muscles to remember that position.
What is your competitive advantage?
UpRight is the only wearable technology that sits directly on your back. It has two sensors that immediately register the minute you start to slouch and begin vibrating. It is not a shock, nothing crazy, it’s like your phone vibrating. And you also have the choice to set how aggressive the vibration is, stronger or lighter. And the feedback is immediate, where the competitor is not anywhere near your back and they are on a 5 to 7 second delay as well. And we have the custom training plans. Plus this can be worn on the upper or lower back. So as you improve your lower back, by training your lower back you will improve your upper back, but you can then still wear it on your upper back as a lighter reminder. Where you start depends on if you slouch from your lower back. A lot of people slouch from their lower back rather than just their upper back. When you work on your lower back you are building the core muscles which are the stabilizing muscles in your body. So that gives you a better foundation. There are some people who have strong core muscles but they really roll their shoulders and hunch their upper back more than anything else based on the computer. It’s not so much about the reminder but everything else you do at your desk about moving your computer up to be at eye level about getting up from your desk every so often. There are so many other things that can be worked on. And this is the first step in building that good posture habit and routine. I nice gateway to that as well.
How do we recharge the battery?
You just put it on the charging dock and it is a USB cable. As long as you charge it correctly and do not leave the device on overnight, not doing anything, it should last you about 10 to 12 training sessions. We suggest just leaving it on the dock, it has a nice little holder.
This isn’t a true medical device, it is a wearable device that falls into the posture trainer category. We have one many recognitions:
- Best Mobile App
- Med X Convergence Award at Experiential
- We have won several awards in the medical field but it is a wearable device, truly it sticks to your back, it falls in that range.
What about people that have a back problem like scoliosis?
It is very important to check with a doctor. I don’t know enough about scoliosis. Everybody with a structural problem has a different medical condition. It is really important to check with a doctor, because holding upright posture too long could be detrimental. You might need a different training program. I would check with a physician and it would all depend on the issue in the back.
We are so excited about both our products. We are getting such excellent customer feedback. The users of our community are sharing their success stories how they can work better, improved overall health, improved happiness, boosted confidence. It is a power position, going from hunched over looking to the ground as opposed to holding your hands up above your head. So I really want to share that upright does that and brings out the best you, more than anything else.
Reader challenge :
It is actually quite challenging I am going to ask everyone now to put on your timer, those who are reading this, to try and sit up right for 5 minutes without slouching without moving, it is actually challenging just to start with 5 minutes. It sounds easier than it is.
Being upright is beautiful. Sitting upright is beautiful