Feature: Product Review
Stretch, 1, 2, 3, 4… Bend 1, 2, 3, 4 … | ActivePosture shirt – Product review | Carole Scrafton (sponsored post)
This is a product review written after testing the Active Posture shirt for women and in exchange for writing this review I get to keep the product.” The job came through being a member of ‘Chronic Illness Bloggers’ a group that I have been associated with since it began a few years ago.
All readers can use this discount code FF10 to get 10% off the price of a shirt, courtesy of Iwona at ActivePosture.
If it’s underlined it’s a live link to the website
ActivePosture creates specifically designed posture clothing. Their Posture Shirt 2.0 is listed as a medical device and helps activate and strengthen back and shoulder muscles; as well as helping align your posture and reduce related back, shoulder and neck pain. The shirt is available for both men and women.
They come in different styles, colours and great sizes for larger busted women, which you can see if you check out their website. The shirt that I have been trying out was black and with the zip design rather than the pull ‘over-the-head’ which is awkward for people with shoulder problems, especially for those with hypermobility like myself.
Vented Powermesh panels
Designed with our patented Neuroband technology
Increases upper body strength
Increases oxygen intake
Improves shoulder mechanics
Improves core activation
You can check out the Posture Shirt: The T-Shirt that helps improve your posture via the button link below (Only sold in UK)
Review of the ActivePosture 2.0 Shirt for women with the zip design
The garments made by Active Posture are designed to help align posture and reduce pain in the back, shoulders and neck. Its purpose is as ‘posture’ clothing which is currently listed as being a form of medical device rather than just a piece of clothing that helps to keep muscles aligned, or as sportswear which a lot of these types of products often come under the umbrella as.
When I saw the opportunity to try it out, I jumped at the chance because I’d try anything to try and reduce my back pain, increase muscular activity and strength in my shoulders because I believe my neck pain would also decrease as a result.
As a person who has endured back problems for most of my life, I knew beforehand that it could be a risky thing to experiment with due to the notions that it may cause me more harm than good because of the several musculoskeletal disorders that I ‘actually’ have going on. Admittedly I should have checked with my GP first before going ahead but I thought what the heck! He’d probably only say “give it a go anyways” as it seems the only way forward with my health conditions… anything goes! I must state that if you have severe problems with your back, shoulders, or neck that consulting your primary caregiver, or GP, is advised by ActivePosture before using the product.
Afterall, consultants and specialists have been telling me for a very long time that they can’t provide me with the things that I need, so I must source things out for myself. When I say that, what I mean is that the combination and range of health conditions that I have make treatment quite complex. There isn’t a specialist centre for people with ‘Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome‘ and/or ‘Hypermobility Spectrum Disorders‘, or one for people like me with ‘multiple chronic health disorders‘ including conditions such as ‘Fibromyalgia’, ‘Fatigue‘ and ‘Arthritis’, alongside many multimorbidities / comorbidities. (I do have EDS, HSD, Fibro, Fatigue and arthritis +)
Basically, we don’t have access to specialists easily, never mind a team of them, in Sunderland, (North East UK). Medical devices on the other hand we do, and often it is down to us as ‘patients‘ to inform our doctors of products that we find so that they can suggest it to other patients where appropriate, after vetting of course!
Does this sound like you too? I know many folks are sitting nodding their heads right now and wondering whether they have the confidence to take control of their own healthcare in the same way that I feel the need to
ActivePosture connecting with patients through Chronic Illness Bloggers gets them fantastic access to people with varying health conditions that blog about their conditions. As a result this provides a great avenue to showcase their products with the ‘real’ opinions targeting other bloggers within the network who share it across a broad range of social media channels. Marketing for a company is quite complex if you have something that is quite unique, or for a specific audience, and it is no secret that I have been advocating the fact that we are on social media everywhere as ‘patients’ and that is where to find us, especially in groups such as chronic illness bloggers, and community groups.
The good old-fashioned method of “word of mouth” to pass on such information is the best way to get these products recognised. Collaboration, and co-creation, between companies, healthcare providers and people (patients) is essential for products like these to get recognised and the reviews that ‘we’ write tell you a real-life experience of wearing it. If it’s good, then say so, if it wasn’t so good explain how it could be better, afterall how else could the product improve for you.
Posture garments aren’t exactly new to the market, though are they? So, what makes Active Posture garments any different to any other type or brand?
Well, I cannot answer that question specifically not knowing the science that went into its design but can only suggest that its ergonomics and light fabric may have a lot to with it. It’s not cumbersome and heavy, it doesn’t cripple to wear it even though it needs to be tight. As someone who has always been large chested, I have often complained of the weight of my chest and the effects on my posture. Plus, I can no longer wear bra’s because of a skin condition called ‘Hidradenitis Suppurativa‘, and also due to injuries sustained after a car accident 20 years ago left me with severe seat belt injuries and problems with the undercarriage of my breasts relating to severe touch sensitivities, having anything pressing against it and I can positively say that I did not feel squeezed in, compressed, or unable to move. In fact, I was able to perform my exercises while wearing it and be comfortable while doing so. I must state that exercising for me isn’t pumping iron down the gym, but more physio related gentle stretches to help strengthen my back, hips, legs and core muscles. Having ‘Ehlers Danlos Syndrome’ means exercising is difficult and the effects wear off very quickly so having some proper support on my back and shoulders is quite useful and to be honest… common sense!
Another huge positive for me was that I didn’t have an allergic reaction to the fabric the garment is made of. My skin is so sensitive anyways and the friction of fabric often causes me problems, but I also have an allergy to latex and a lot of clothing these days is causing me to have allergic reactions resulting in very nasty sores that leave me susceptible to infection. In fact the fabric of the ActivePosture 2.0 shirt was great and it was comfortable against my skin. It is very difficult these days for me when purchasing clothes because of my skin sensitivities.
Don’t forget they make them for men too!
Sitting – dining chair with no arms & a straight back
One of the main problems I find difficult to tolerate on a day to day basis is just sitting in a normal chair and so I decided to test whether this garment could help make it a more pleasant experience. This was part of my testing that shocked me the most and am quite happy to discuss it in this review.
The guidelines for wearing the garment are easy to follow, don’t wear all day, wear for an hour, then maybe two the next time, try it for standing, sitting, gently exercising etc. I decided to test how long it would be before my back began to ache when sat in a regular dining chair, one with no arms and a straight back. It wasn’t long before I began to notice little things as I was sitting such as for some strange reason it was as if something was preventing me from crossing my legs and forcing me to sit properly with legs, hips and feet all aligned, no I wasn’t imagining it because after several times of my leg slipping and dropping to the floor I gave up trying to sit crossed legged. Whether this is an aspect the company knows about is something I have yet to find out, maybe they don’t know about this effect!? Saying that I must say that just because I experienced this with leg crossing does not mean it will happen to others, also it does not mean that it has anything to do with the garment either!
Another experience was how I could feel my back being lightly pulled and aligned into shape whilst sitting preventing me from ‘slouching’ which when you have lower back problems is a bad habit that is hard to rectify especially when you’re in your mid-40’s, no spring chicken and have ‘congenital’ spinal deformities in the form of ‘spina bifida occulta’ and the ‘rare 6th vertebrae’ that cause muscular weaknesses in the lower back and pelvic areas.
This garment is going to help train my muscles to slowly regain some stamina and strength to begin withholding the pressures of sitting in such a position and is something that I have needed for over a decade. I am just hoping that it hasn’t been left too long for it to make a lasting difference. Continuous usage in a regular pattern as part of my chronic illness management plan is ’now’ on the agenda!
Exercising – Stretching, walking and standing
Stretching is important to anybody with hypermobility issues in order to keep muscles aligned and toned but it is no easy feat to achieve. I spent my childhood as an athlete and was a long-distance runner, so endurance and fitness were of high priority. The training and running that I did hid the fact that I had Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, in fact it wasn’t until I was in my late teens and no longer as active that the physical problems and chronic pain began to manifest themselves. Aged 19/20 years old my journey for diagnosis began due to the severe problems with my back and knees.
Physiotherapy is a treatment that I have often had, and the first time was aged 13 after a diagnosis of mild scoliosis. It has never been particularly beneficial, or long-lasting. Like I previously mentioned exercising is no easy feat for people with my health conditions.
However, whilst wearing the ActivePosture 2.0 garment I have managed to perform my stretching exercises each day with a lot more ease and less pain and I can only suggest that the garment holding things in the correct places was behind it.
Think about it!? If your back, neck and shoulders are aligned then that means there is a good chance it will have a positive effect on hip and pelvic alignment too which will in turn assist the alignment of the legs, knees and feet meaning the biomechanical system will become aligned overall over time if the stretching is regularly practised.
The garment was comfortable, I didn’t sweat like I do in other regular shirts and although the shirt was tight in order to work properly, I didn’t feel compressed.
I have never had shoulder strength and having sensitive shoulders that are prone to popping, and freezing, stretching is always a careful process. Wearing the ActivePosture 2.0 shirt made me feel more confident and fluid with my movements from the support the shirt provided. It was also good for promoting a more positive mindset as the stretching itself feels like it is being done correctly. Moving the arms upwards, outwards and sideways as normal happens with a lot less creaking and afterwards I did not feel like I had overstretched anything, which of course is the problem that I must permanently avoid.
Walking and standing wearing the ActivePosture 2.0 shirt meant that my back was in a better position and the muscles did not feel like they were being pulled when I moved. However, I do feel that having pelvic support would help here as it would provide even better alignment and better muscular training. Of course, I am speaking about the fact that this garment would become part of my everyday treatment when exercising.
Potential improvements / considerations
When it comes to looking at the negatives of this garment, I didn’t find many at all. However, when it comes to sizing for women, I think taking cup size into consideration would be a beneficial design decision. Taking chest size is ok but I am a double FF cup size so the shirt, although it fitted was a little too small but the next size up would have been massive and therefore not suitable.
Another design aspect is that you can’t really wear anything over the top of it as the zip is quite a prominent feature, bearing in mind that the shirt is available without the zip, but I require it for medical reasons. So, for aesthetic reasons it isn’t something that I can wear as extra support if I want to go out for a short time just using my sticks instead of taking the wheelchair, or if I want to go out for a meal and would like the support for when sitting in that dining chair!
Overall the garment surprised me because I couldn’t figure out how such a product would work so well, but it did, and I certainly would recommend it to anyone with back and shoulder problems.
Exercising feels like a much safer process when wearing it which creates confidence in my exercising abilities whilst helping to retrain my muscular structures at the same time. A medical device?… yes, I would agree with that!
Many thanks to ActivePosture, for the garment and the opportunity to try it out, also Iwona Olszewska for running this campaign through Chronic Illness Bloggers and many thanks to ‘you‘ for taking the time to read my review.
Don’t forget all readers can use this discount code FF10 to get 10% off the price of a shirt, courtesy of Iwona at ActivePosture. You can visit the website via the button link below
Wishing you all wellness as always
Carole ~ Author & Editor
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