This ingenious device makes it impossible to slouch in your office chair

betterback posture kickstarter screen shot 2015 05 12 at 11 52 51 am
If you work in an office environment and spend the majority of your life hunched over in front of a computer screen, we’re willing to bet that your posture is probably atrocious. But not to worry. Thanks to SF-based designer Katherine Krug, you’ll soon be able to fix the problem — and without spending zillions of dollars on one of those new-age ergonomic office chairs.

Krug and her team have developed a device, dubbed BetterBack, which passively forces you sit with perfect posture. It’s about as low-tech as they come, and that’s exactly what makes it so brilliant.

BetterBack is most certainly not the first contraption designed to help you sit up straight. The Darma Smart Cushion, the UpRight wearable, the LumoBack, and countless other posture-perking products have popped up on Kickstarter and Indiegogo over the past couple years — with all of them relying on technology to solve the problem. They use sensors to detect when you’re slouching, and will beep or vibrate to encourage you to sit up straight.

Krug’s device takes a much more practical approach. Instead of using wearable sensors to pester you throughout the day, BetterBack uses a set of simple, adjustable straps to keep your spine from bending into an arc while you sit. It doesn’t require any electricity to run, and doesn’t send you annoying notifications if you start to slouch — it just hooks onto your knees and prevents you from slouching in the first place.

To help bring her idea out of the prototype stage and get started on production, Krug has taken BetterBack to Kickstarter. People sat up straight and noticed — it’s been met with an overwhelmingly positive response. As the project approaches the final days of its campaign, it has gathered up over $1 million in pledges from 14,000 backers. All the early birds have been snagged up at this point, but if you act fast, you can still lock down a BetterBack for about 50 bucks. Krug and her team expect to begin shipping as early as November.

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