Those shoulder-strap "posture improvers" - do they work?

My posture’s not great, and I’ve started thinking about getting one of those shoulder strap things that holds your shoulders back as a quick fix. Are they a good idea? Will they make any difference in the long run?

H Tom,

Thanks for your question.

I would say in the short term they could help a little, but it would be better to see an Osteopath or Physio to ensure you are doing correct functional exercises to give you a stronger posture. So in the short term it can help, but not in the long term as you won’t be working on the core stability weakness in your body. But in the beginning it could help programme your mind what the correct posture should be. Then again it would depend if you have a scoliosis in the spine etc? So always best to get manual therapy to help with posture for best results.

Hope this helps a little?

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hi Tom,

tl;dr : You could see it like using crutches or a wheel chair. Unless you get rid of those and start helping yourself your legs will never get stronger. And in the same way, your posture will never improve unless you actively, willingly, consciously put yourself in the ideal posture.

imho these are only good as reminders for yourself to adjust your posture so it is “better”. The reason why I say this is because these posture things “force” the textbook posture onto your frame, but in reality your posture wont improve because in order for that to happen your muscles need to be retrained and activated to hold your body in the “ideal” posture.

You could see it like using crutches or a wheel chair. Unless you get rid of those and start helping yourself your legs will never get stronger. And in the same way, your posture will never improve unless you actively, willingly, consciously put yourself in the ideal posture.

Only through the right exercises, stretches and strengthening techniques can you move closer to an ideal posture. When you don this thing, you will either adjust your posture yourself and in doing so encourage the right muscles to activate and hold your body in the ideal way, or you will just relax into it while the straps hold you in place.

Like Jonathan suggested, seeing an osteopath or a private physio (nhs physios are typically too busy) would provide more insight.

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