Science graduate targets computer 'slouchers' - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Science graduate targets computer 'slouchers'

3 Jan 2017

A Buderim-based occupational therapist of 30 years who recently graduated with a Master of Science from USC Sunshine Coast is campaigning for office workers across the world to make “stop slouching” their number one New Year’s resolution.

Lorraine Josey, who runs a business based on a therapy device she designed called the BackTone Posture Corrector, said her USC studies had reinforced the health benefits of better posture for computer users in workplaces and examined how this could be achieved.

In a recent blog, ‘5 surprising ways bad posture is ruining your life’, Ms Josey listed possible consequences such as pain, stress and poor energy levels, self esteem, communication skills and appearance. She urged people to make changes in 2017.

BackTone is a light webbing harness worn on the torso to provide real-time biofeedback on how a person is sitting, standing or moving. It emits a continuous beep if it detects slight changes in the configuration of a body or spine that indicates slouching. The beep only stops when the posture improves.
“My USC Master’s research looked into the effectiveness of this posture trainer, which I developed when I was helping injured workers deal with musculoskeletal problems of the neck, shoulders and upper back,” she said.

“I knew patients needed to improve their habitual posture to reduce pain after they returned to their workplaces, but no strategies seemed to work. So I tried biomechanical biofeedback.

“My research found that this immediate physical reminder was more effective than educational strategies for improving posture and easing musculoskeletal pain in computer users in the workplace.”

Ms Josey has since presented her findings at four national conferences in Australia and America, focusing on occupational therapy, physical therapy and workplace health.

— Julie Schomberg

USC Master of Science graduate Lorraine Josey runs a Coast-based business based on a therapy device she designed called the BackTone Posture Corrector.

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