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Occupational Therapist Lorraine Josey observed again and again the severe impact of poor posture on her patients. It was during her time in worksites, after a string of failed attempts at improving her patients’ posture that she realised the source of the problem. Her patients slouched as soon as their attention returned to their work. Their posture was therefore a habit, and not something they were or could possibly be conscious of at all times. They needed something that would watch their posture in her absence, and remind them to straighten up while their attention was directed at their tasks.
In 2002 she developed the first BackTone out of a Tic Tac box and a singing happy birthday card. The concept was simple. The patient was to wear the device over their clothing like a very small back pack while they worked. As soon as they slouched, it sang happy birthday at them, and wouldn’t stop until they adopted upright neutral posture. The results were better than expected. The device changed her patients habit, and not just while conducting the target activity, but their new upright posture became their regular stance.
The results inspired her to upgrade to a purpose built and designed product. BackTone now beeps or vibrates instead of sings; is backed by clinical research; and is used by computer users, athletes, physios, teenagers, artists, ice skaters, golfers, swimmers, musicians, singers and occupational therapists the world over.