PostureMinder is software that acts as a posture conscious Jiminy Cricket that reminds you when you're sitting poorly at our PC.

Bad posture is a major problem when using a PC. Slumping, leaning or even sitting with unbalanced weight on one side of a chair can cause back, neck and shoulder pain, or myriad other musculoskeletal disorders. And if it doesn't happen right now, you may pay in later life. Even if you’ve had ergonomic training, it can be very hard, once you get absorbed in a project, to remember to check your posture.

What we need is a posture conscious Jiminy Cricket, to remind us when we are sitting poorly. PostureMinder, software that has taken over four years to develop, does just that.

The software works in conjunction with a webcam to monitor your posture while you sit at your desk and use your PC. If you adopt a poor posture PostureMinder generates reminders that flash up on your screen.

Developed by Dr Philip Worthington following a painful attack of backache resulting from poor posture while working at his computer, PostureMinder was launched in the UK in May 2007.

Once installation is complete, users must complete a quick survey that identifies if they are able to adopt the correct posture. PostureMinder can then be calibrated, with users sitting in a good position, their feet flat on the floor and the screen directly at eye level, the webcam captures an image. This is then used as a guide to monitor posture from.

The frequency of PostureMinder's posture reminder and break reminder alerts (because taking a break from work intensively at a machine is also necessary) can be altered from between 0.5 and 10 minutes.

PostureMinder will also provide details on your posture throughout the day. The software offers a percentage and a graph detailing how much of the day has been spent sitting in good posture.

Your posture can be re-calibrated at any time by simply repeating the original steps and the software even offers you some discreet stretching exercises, which should be done at your desk to keep your muscles supple and relieve tension. PostureMinder is available as a download or on CD.

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PostureMinder: Specs

  • 1.5GHz processor
  • 256MB RAM
  • 140MB hard disk space
  • Windows 2000 SP4
  • XP SP2/Vista
  • mid-range USB webcam with minimum 320x240 pixel resolution
  • 1.5GHz processor
  • 256MB RAM
  • 140MB hard disk space
  • Windows 2000 SP4
  • XP SP2/Vista
  • mid-range USB webcam with minimum 320x240 pixel resolution

OUR VERDICT

PostureMinder is ideal for those concerned about how they sit now, or want to prevent problems in later life. The sooner you can start sitting right the better.