If you’re slouching in your office chair, sit up straight! Medical experts say improving your posture not only prevents back pain, but can provide an added boost to your confidence and physical attractiveness.
LumoBack, a mobile solution for perfect posture, has come a long way since winning a DemoGOD award in 2011. The Palo Alto-based team is working with a slew of physicians and physical therapists to scale a technology that can help millions of Americans benefit from better posture.
“Awareness and active correction of posture is critical for successful prevention and treatment of low back pain,” said Taylor Miller, a physical therapist based in Los Altos, CA. There are many causes of back pain (carrying heavy bags, walking in uncomfortable shoes, etc.) but according to Miller, posture is the critical component.
Monisha Perkash, the company’s chief executive officer, said that in some cases, users will notice an improvement in less than a week. “The hard part is remembering to sit up straight. We give you real-time feedback so you’ll develop a better, more natural way to hold yourself,” she said.
The three founders, who met at Stanford, have already raised $75,000 on Kickstarter’s crowd-funding platform to bring to market a wireless sensor that detects whether you’re sitting or standing correctly.
LumoBack’s wearable sensor patch is worn on your waist or lower back and connects wirelessly to an iPhone 4S or iPad 3. It provides a vibration when you slouch. The app can process trend data to determine whether your posture is steadily improving over time.
The idea for LumoBack came from co-founder Andrew Chang, an engineer and lifelong back-pain sufferer whose health significantly improved when he enrolled in posture classes. Perkash, whose husband is a spine and sports physician at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation, immediately saw the merits of a technology that would bring the benefits of these classes to a broader market.
The market opportunity for posture is significant: 80 percent of us will suffer from back pain at some point in our lives. As VentureBeat reported last year, back pain is a leading cause of missed work days and disability claims, amounting to an estimated loss of $50 billion per year.
In April, the startup raised $1.1 million in first-round funding from a handful of investors, including Innovation Endeavors and Morado Venture Partners.