Review of TruPosture Smart Shirt for Postural Training

Photo of a man wearing the TruPosture Smart Shirt
The TruPosture Smart Shirt can help you attain and maintain proper posture. AdelaHealth/ Alex Tostado

If you're looking to start to learn how to attain and maintain upright sitting and standing posture, the TruPosture Smart Shirt is an excellent tool to have on hand. It provides a gentle reminder to you whenever you start to slouch while sitting or standing in a simple-to-use device.

The TruPosture Smart Shirt is an innovative postural training device that gives you instant feedback about the position of your spine.

The shirt is designed to help you attain and maintain proper posture while sitting or standing,  Using 5 different sensors situated up and down your spine, the TruPosture shirt tracks the alignment of your spine and alerts you when your posture deviates from the optimal position.

Wearable technology for fitness and wellness is all the rage, with people using Fitbits or Apple iWatches to track their steps, heart rate, and overall exercise time during each day. The TruPosture training device joins the ranks of wearable technology that can help you improve your posture. (Postural correction is often prescribed for the treatment for back pain, neck pain, and shoulder pain, and it is likely the foundation of treatment for spinal pain.)

Pros of Using TruPosture Wearable Technology

  • Easy to set up and use for postural training
  • Simple to follow instructions and user interface
  • Posture training periods of 2 minutes with 1 minute of rest
  • Auto shut off feature
  • Constant vibratory feedback of your postural changes
  • Sensors vibrate differently if your posture is too far forward or too far backward (one vibe if too far forward, two vibes if too far back)
  • Sensors stop vibrating if excessive movement is sensed
  • Sensors stop vibrating if shirt is moved into a horizontal position

    Cons of TruPosture Smart Shirt

    • Limited efficacy and studies of its use as a postural training tool
    • Standing postural training seemed less effective than seated postural training
    • Shirt rides up in the back, perhaps displacing the lowest sensor

    All of these items would seem easy to adjust in a non-prototype model available to consumers.

    Features of the TruPosture Smart Shirt

    • Sensors in the TruPosture can provide data via Bluetooth technology to your smartphone or device (not available yet for review)
    • Easy to use postural training device
    • Washable shirt once sensors are removed
    • Multiple posture training modes
    • Can be used in either sitting or standing
    • Shirt is designed to be worn conspicuously under clothing

    My Personal Review of TruPosture Smart Shirt

    Available for my review is a prototype of the TruPosture Smart Shirt for postural training. The item arrived with the posture sensors and control device in place on the shirt. The shirt itself is a typical sleeveless training shirt from Underarmor that is meant to be worn tight to the skin.

    It was simple to don and doff, and the TruPosture website reports that the shirt is washable once the sensors are removed. Removing and re-applying the sensors was simple as they are attached by a small metal button, and a small pouch stores the handheld control device.

    Once I put the TruPosture shirt on, I checked the instruction manual. It is easy to understand and follow. Turning on the sensors was confirmed by each sensor vibrating up my spine. Once I had the shirt on and the sensors activated, it was time to start my postural training.

    To begin postural training, you must set a reference posture. This posture should be in a comfortable position. The instructions recommend visiting a physical therapist to learn the best posture for you. I simply performed a few repetitions of the slouch overcorrect procedure to attain proper posture, and then I pressed the "Save" button to set my reference posture. Now any deviation from this reference position would result in a vibration at one of the 5 sensors along my spine.

    While sitting and working with the TruPosture shirt on, the sensors would vibrate for a second whenever my posture would deviate from my reference position. While working, I would feel a vibration in the upper-most sensor or in the sensor between my scapulae as I slouched. This would be a gentle reminder for me to sit up straight.

    Many of my patients tell me that they need something to constantly monitor their posture and remind them when they start to slouch. The TruPosture seemed to do the job for me. Any time I started to slouch while working, the TruPosture shirt would vibrate me and remind me to sit up back into my reference position. This became increasingly annoying while working at my computer, but I guess that's the point - to train me to stay in the upright position.

    In the training mode of the prototype TruPosture shirt, the sensors are active for two minutes, monitoring my posture and gently reminding me to sit up tall. Then, a one minute rest break would occur where the sensors would stop reminding me. This was a great opportunity for me to get a break from the vibrating sensors and from constantly monitoring my position.

    When I got up to get a cup of coffee, the shirt vibrated once initially, then stopped vibrating as I moved around. It was only to monitor my posture while sitting, and excessive motion tells the sensors to take a break for awhile.

    When testing the shirt in the standing position, it seemed a little less effective, as the sensors would vibrate randomly when standing still and when walking. Sitting postural training seems to be where this shirt is most effective, although the bottom sensor kept riding up in the back and out of position as I sat.

    After about 30 minutes of wearing the TruPosture shirt, I turned it off and gave it a rest and used my lumbar roll to help keep my posture in line. I felt like I was a little more aware of my posture, but I understand that posture training like this takes time, and the TruPosture instruction sheet reports that it may take a few weeks of use to get full benefit from the posture training using the TruPosture device.

    Conclusion

    If you are dealing with back pain or neck pain, or if your PT recommends adjusting your posture to help your condition, then the TruPosture Smart Shirt is a device you should consider. It gives you a gentle reminder to help you correct your posture while sitting or standing and can give you that extra nudge in helping you to attain and maintain proper posture. It is currently in the final phases of development, so keep an eye out for this device to be readily available to help you get control of your posture.

    Disclosure: The author of this review was offered no compensation, financial or otherwise, from the manufacturers of this product.

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