Promote a healthy posture
Posture shirts are designed to help people suffering from back pain to improve their posture and awareness. A Bachelor’s thesis from the Bern University of Applied Sciences claims to have seen evidence of the complaint actually regressing. Posture clothing is based on the idea of kinesiology tapes that activate the muscles and promote a healthy posture. The t-shirts are designed to stimulate otherwise inactive muscle groups, improve muscle memory and aid blood circulation.
The test herself
Our editor, Evita Mauron, took the test herself.
A tentative start
Gespannt beginne ich den Test. Anfänglich scheint mir der Hinweis des Anbieters, das Shirt I’m curious as I start the test. At first, I feel that the manufacturer's caution that users shouldn’t wear the shirt for too long is somewhat exaggerated. The shirt that I'm wearing in the size intended for my body mass is a looser fit than expected. I have my doubts as to whether it’s going to make any difference. But after a quarter of an hour, I feel a pull at my shoulders. My usually rather bent posture seems to have been straightened as if by magic – and without my having to tell myself. I’m fascinated.
However, after an hour, the t-shirt starts to feel uncomfortable. I notice that I’m tensing up. But since I’m so excited about the effect so far, I hardly want to take it off. And then I remember the manufacturer’s warning. And my own tendency to push myself to the limits of my own pain. For this reason I act sensibly and, after this first test, take the shirt off after an hour.
Then follows a slight disappointment: the effect doesn't appear to last. At the beginning, I only feel I’m getting help when I’m actually wearing the shirt. But I do start to feel more and more comfortable each time I wear it. Over the following weeks, this amounts to roughly every other day, for up to four hours at a time. After three weeks, I notice that I’ve even started to correct my back posture when I’m not wearing the shirt. It does last after all – I’m impressed.
The effect of these posture shirts is bound to feel different according to the individual. Each person must decide for themselves whether they think it works. For me the test was worth it. I'll continue to wear the t-shirt for sure. It will hardly replace my physio exercises, but it’s a good supplement. Physiotherapist Romana Brunner, who recommends the shirts to patients with posture problems, agrees: «They provide support in your daily activities and sport but shouldn’t be used to replace training.»