Lauren Barack/GearBrain

Upright Go 2 review: Can a wearable make you stand up straighter?

This tiny device sticks to your back, and alerts you when your posture is poor

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Overall Rating:
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10

Upright stands by the notion that we can change our habits if we're given the opportunity. That's the main idea behind its wearable sensor, which GearBrain reviewed in 2018. Now more than three years later the company has two new devices — including the Upright 2, which we had a chance to test again. About the same size as the original, it delivers almost the same experience but has a new app, and a new way to wear the sensor on your body.

Here's how we found the Upright Go 2 held up in trying to get us to ditch our slouching and get our back better aligned.

Upright Go 2 review The Upright Go 2 can now be worn as a necklace, draped down the backLauren Barack/GearBrain

Setting it up

The Upright Go 2 is a small device, less than two-inches, and it's pretty slim. It works in tandem with its app — the Upright app — and you'll need to have that installed on either an iPad or an iPhone to have this work.

You're going to likely set up the app to start training you. But you can also set the app just to track your posture. To do that, you'll just flip from the Vibration option from on to off.

Buy on Amazon

But let's start by setting up the device and the app to actually train you. Setting the Upright up is as simple as before, but now the company has a new way to use them: a necklace. And that means the sensors may be more noticeable — if you choose to use this option — but it also means you don't need to use adhesive if you'd prefer not.

The sensor works the same either way — whether you have it attached with a sticker to your back, or dropped against your back via the necklace.

Upright Go 2 review The Upright Go 2 can be stored in a hard case for traveling, and can hold five days of a chargeLauren Barack/GearBrain

You can choose how often you want the sensor to buzz, at 5, 15, 30 and more second intervals. I set mine to 5 second rather than 15 to help me really keep myself aligned correctly. Often I'm working at a desk, with what is likely not an ergonomic chair, and I long suspected this wasn't ideal for my back — but actually found that when seated well, I was doing fine. It was when I walked around taking mini-breaks to grab coffee, when Upright alerted me to pay attention.

You can also adjust the range you want Upright to monitor — in other words, if it detects it's out of range how quickly you want it to tell you. And you can also set the vibration pattern from a traditional knock-knock (two short buzzes) to something called Rampup which was three short and three long buzzes — and way too long for me.

You'll have to do a quick calibration which basically has you seated properly and read those metrics to decide this is your posture. That will take less than a minute.

Upright Go 2 review You can stick the Upright Go 2 on your back with adhesive strips that come with the deviceLauren Barack/GearBrain

How it worked

Upright does note that the device is really meant for when you're seated — presumably at a desk. And it's not really meant to be worn 24/7. To start, it's not waterproof and so you're not taking it into a shower or a pool. But the company also recommended not wearing it when it's hot or humid outdoors (which is really all the time for most of us in the U.S. right now) because the adhesive can loosen against the skin and the device can fall off.

You're also not supposed to wear this sleeping — and why would you frankly, since your posture while you sleep is not what you're measuring. In fact, Upright is really meant to be worn for short periods, like an hour or so, and a way to re-train yourself to hold your body upright.

The strong point about Upright is that it is a small, lightweight device that you barely need to notice while it's worn.

But the vibration aren't silent. There isn't an audible alarm, but it's noticeable when this goes off, and people do hear. You can adjust it to a gentle, medium or strong buzz — but even the medium could be heard through my shirt. The gentle was less noticeable in terms of sound, but also less noticeable in what I could feel. I kept it at medium.

You can turn off the vibrations and set it to just send notifications to you — but you're not going to get the same reaction/response that is going to really help you pay attention to your posture.

Upright Go 2 review The Upright app can store your history so you can see the percentage of time you manage to keep your posture in alignmentLauren Barack/GearBrain

You also need to keep your smartphone within distance — a short distance — of yourself while wearing the Upright Go 2. Case in point. I'm often wearing headphones while working, and I can walk a 100 feet or more away from my computer to refill my coffee, with headphones on, and still remain connected via sound to a video or web conference.

Upright? It disconnected immediately within that same distance. And I needed to open the app, and reconnect when I returned to my desk and my smartphone. I am certainly more than attached to my phone — but I don't typically carry it to me to grab a coffee from my own kitchen. And I found having to reconnect each time I left the proximity of my smartphone not ideal.

But truthfully, as I found years ago, the device does as it's designed — kept me sitting a bit taller, straighter and prevented the dreaded hunched over shoulders I'm often prone to.



Videos

Upright includes a number of helpful videos in the app, targeted specifically to things you can do from a chair. While they're not much different from other exercises you can find, they're short and cleanly shot so you can get a two-minute session in on stretches for your hip flexors, or even stretches for your upper back. All of the videos are very short, and they make for a nice reprieve to reach for between that coffee refresh and the return to your desk. (Keep in mind that wearing Upright during these, though, may cause it to buzz.)

Upright Go 2 review The Upright Go 2 is $100 — and you'll spend another $20 on a necklace if you choose to wear it that wayLauren Barack/GearBrain

Price

The Upright Go 2 is $99.95 and it comes with 10 adhesive tags, a hard case and a charging cord. (Buy on Amazon). The necklace attachment is another $20, and I found that made wearing the Upright much easier, and made the experience even more effective. You can pick up a bundle with both for just $119.75.


Worth buying?

I think Upright Go 2 is really best for those who are really looking to make a posture change, or find their backs have been hurt by working on less than optimum chairs.

It's an easy device to use, and it does one thing, and one thing well — vibrate when a back is not in alignment. It's not ideal that the Upright 2 only works when connected to a smartphone or tablet, and stops working when it's out of range.

I did find, though, that when wearing it I was conscious of just sitting taller — there's a little gamification at play here. You don't want to be buzzed, so you try and keep that from happening. I also think the necklace attachment is a positive move. Being bale to take this on and off when I choose is a nice touch.

Ultimately though you're spending $100 for the Upright Go 2, and $20 for the necklace (which we think helps make the product worth better.) So that investment is one you'll need to think about and decide if it's worth it or not.

But for anyone eager to change their overall posture — and want to be able to do more than exercises, but get physical alerts to train them, the Upright 2 is definitely worth considering.

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • You can adjust the strength of vibration and pattern
  • Very responsive to slight changes in posture

Cons:

  • Device disconnects if it falls out of range of your smartphone
  • Vibration can be audible at higher settings
  • Price

Upright GO 2 Lighter, Smaller Posture Corrector | Strapless, Discrete, Easy to Use Trainer with 30 Hours Battery Life | 1-Touch Sync App and Training Plan | Build Confidence


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