illustration of Upright GO 2 in use

Reviewing the Upright GO 2 – $100 for Better Posture Reminders?

I’m not the kind to regularly make New Year’s resolutions but, this year, I made a few. Among them, I set a goal to improve my posture, as I’m an undoubted sloucher. Unfortunately, unlike other habits I’ve built or eliminated over the years, this one has proven difficult for me in the past as it’s so easy to forget unless you’re constantly thinking about it. Plus, while some of my other resolutions are easily trackable and quantifiable, “standing up straight” isn’t exactly something you can build an actual goal around.

That’s why I was excited to discover something called the Upright GO 2. This small device is placed on your back and syncs with an app on your phone to help remind you to adjust your posture. By the way, I realize this review has nothing to do with personal finance, but I wanted to share — so here’s a “quick tip” review of the Upright GO 2, including whether or not it’s helped me with my posture goal so far.

Upright GO 2 Cost

When I purchased my Upright GO 2, the price was around $70. Apparently, that’s a bit lower than it sometimes is, but because it’s on Amazon, the price does seem to fluctuate. While I considered waiting a bit to see if the price dropped, I decided to just go ahead with it as I didn’t want to delay the potential benefits. Also, as luck would have it, it took a few weeks before my device would ship — although the timeline was moved up considerably from the initial estimates.

On that note, when I went to look for the GO 2 while writing this, I noticed that it’s not currently listed. Instead, the similar but slightly different Upright GO S is in stock and going for $59.99. I’m guessing this is just due to a New Year’s-related run on the core product, but it’s hard to say for sure. In any case, while the Go S has a smaller battery and a couple of other features, I’m guessing it’ll work just about the same. Meanwhile, the GO 2 does seem to still be available on Upright’s site.

Upright GO 2 necklace

Accessories (the GO necklace)

One of the things that I didn’t quite love when researching the prospect of the Upright GO 2 is that the device is meant to be applied to your back using adhesive. Not only did this sound a bit uncomfortable and potentially annoying but, since the adhesive strips would wear off after a few days, it was set to be another recurring expense if I were to keep up with using the device long term. That’s why I instead opted to get the GO necklace.

This rubbery necklace attaches to the device’s USB-C port at the back and features a weighted, magnetic connector at the front. With this setup, you place the device on your back without the adhesive and still have it stay in place.

When I purchased it, the necklace was $17.77 for the grey version. That’s a little pricey for what it is (and took my total price for my GO 2 setup to nearly $100), but I think it was the right call for me personally. Also, the necklace is compatible with the GO S should you end up with that model.

How it works

Setting up and using the Upright GO 2 is quite simple. First, you’ll want to download the Upright app and sync your device using Bluetooth. Then comes the calibration process. All that this entails is putting the device on, sitting upright, and waiting a few seconds. After it’s set, you should see that bending over IRL leads the animated person on the app’s screen to do the same.

As you’ll notice in the app, when you bend over far enough, you’ll fall into the “red zone.” If you stay below this threshold for long enough, the device will vibrate to remind you to fix your posture. On that note, you can set your device to issue this reminder after 5 seconds, 15 seconds, 30 seconds, or 60 seconds. Also, if you’re doing an activity where you know you’re going to be bending over a lot but want to keep the GO on, you can toggle off the vibration option so that you’re not getting annoyed by the reminders.

Upright GO 2 app

In terms of other options, in settings, you can change the “Upright range,” meaning the point at which you’ll fall into that dreaded “red zone.” You can also choose from a few different vibration types or patterns. Lastly, Upright has an “auto-calibration” feature in beta.

Charging

The Upright GO 2 charges via a USB-C port… like the one I alluded to when discussing the necklace. This makes for easy charging, in my opinion. Plus, the device seems to charge up fairly quickly.

Personally, I tend to go through about 20% of the battery in a day — which is in line with Upright’s five-day battery life estimate. I have yet to let it get to 0%, although I probably should do that rather than bringing it back to 100% each day. Either way, I don’t think that battery life will be much of an issue for most people.

How I set up my Upright GO 2

Seeing as I didn’t want my device to be too aggressive with reminders, I decided to set it to 30 seconds. While I could probably go down to 15, 30 seems reasonable enough for what I’m trying to get out of the device. Also, I like that you can stop the countdown by resetting back to the proper position. But, as I said, there are times when I’ve just turned off vibration since I knew I’d be bent over for too long and didn’t want my back to be vibrating every half a minute.

My experience so far

It’s now been a couple of weeks since I started using the Upright and I can say that it really does its job. This is to say that I’ve been getting much more consistent with my good posture habits. In turn, I’ve also noticed a positive difference even when I’m not wearing the device.

With that, however, there have been a couple of annoyances. For one, on occasion, the device will simply turn off on me — and, in some cases, will require calibration when I turn it back on. I have a theory that this may be related to taking the device too far away from my phone but I haven’t fully diagnosed it just yet. Either way, it has led to some frustration.

That frustration is compounded by my other nitpick, which involves the goals. When I first started with the device, my daily goal was set at an hour of “Uptime” (sidenote: I’m now singing “Uptime Goal” to the tune of Billy Joel — you’re welcome). This was easily attainable and I wore the device for far longer than that on a given day, but it was nice to mark off that goal anyway. Well, unbeknownst to me, Upright “personalizes” your goal regularly. So, all of a sudden, my target went from 60 minutes a day to… 340! That number probably came about as I was far outpacing the one hour, but the change led to me missing my goal on a weekend.

While I like the idea of a personalized goal, I wish it was coupled with an option to override it and set your own custom goal. In other words, it could just be a suggestion instead of the official ruling. As far as I can tell, there isn’t a way to set your own goal, so you’ll need to just accept what they give you. Honestly, this has actually discouraged me from wearing the device for even longer as I fear that record would become my new goal, setting me up for failure in subsequent days. Of course, you can just set your own personal goals and reach them without worrying about the gamification in the app… but that’s not how my Millennial brain works, unfortunately. In any case, here’s my conclusion:

So is the Upright GO 2 worth the nearly $100 (including the accessory) that I spent for it? Well, it’s a pretty simple device that can’t really cost all that much. Nevertheless, in spite of some of the hiccups I’ve experienced, I have to say that the device has been effective in helping me remember to stand up straight. Notice that I didn’t say “it’s helped me improve my posture” as that’s a long-term process — but I do think it’s helping set me on that path. Heck, even in those times when the GO has unexpectedly shut off on me, I still maintained my good posture since I knew I was wearing the device.

Because of this, if you’re someone who’s looking to correct their posture but has had similar issues to me, I do think the Upright GO 2 may be worth considering. Of course, you may also be able to find a more frugal solution in a similar vein, but I appreciate the extra feedback that the device delivers. So, if that sounds good to you, then perhaps it’s worth taking a closer look at.

Author

Kyle Burbank

Kyle is a freelance writer and author whose first book, "The E-Ticket Life" is now available on Amazon. In addition to his weekly "Money at 30" column on Dyer News, he is also the editorial director and a writer for the Disney fan site LaughingPlace.com and the founder of Money@30.com.

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