Whether in front of the computer or TV, driving on long commutes, or attending a sporting event, the average person spends more than 12 hours a day sitting. This can take a serious toll on your body in a variety of ways, but muscle and joint pain can be the most immediately apparent. Sitting all day can lead to long term consequences, many of which affect the lower back, hips, and knees. We had the opportunity to review a few devices that target these areas to help avoid tissue damage, pain, and other symptoms originating from long periods of sitting down.
The new Incredi-belt (not the “Classic” version) is a dynamic, inflatable lumbar support made by Cabeau, a brand well known for its many travel pillows. The belt itself comes with a built-in pump that allows you to inflate the device without having to use your mouth. It’s also nice to have this option for inflating the device once it’s already being worn.
The belt folds up compactly to the size of a soda can, and is worn similarly to a belt with the end passed through a buckle that cinches down at the desired length. As a product coming from Cabeau, I had expected some memory foam or additional contouring to the device itself. However, the inflatable and deflatable nature of it allows adjustments that ultimately make this device comfortable enough to use as lumbar support.
True to its advertisements, the Incredi-belt is lightweight and wraps around your waist to fill the gap between your back and the chair, thus preserving the spine’s natural “S” curve for pain relief. After a while, you do tend to forget you’re even wearing it.
To learn more visit www.cabeau.com.
Stealth – Dynamic Planking
As with many of us who fall into that “12 hours sitting” bucket, your core muscles start to lose their strength over time without exercise. A product called Stealth aims to help activate and train those core muscles in just three minutes a day through dynamic planking motion. Advertised to work 29 muscle groups through gamification of dynamic ab movements, Stealth features arm pads to provide comfort, a recessed phone holder large enough to accommodate most larger sized cell phones today, and a ball and socket joint that allows 360 degree pivoting.
Assuming you’ve got the core strength needed to plank for at least three minutes, Stealth does make planking even more interesting, especially as you’re trying to play its games. It is somewhat easy when first starting to forget to maintain better planking posture – or if you’re out of practice, it’s actually challenging to play for a few minutes.
I found the positioning of my arms and hands to be slightly awkward when first starting, but after gaining some strength and familiarity, it becomes more familiar and natural. Given that I have a cell phone that fills up the holder space, I did wonder whether someone with a smaller cell phone would see the device slide around more. Though a simple grippy phone pad would likely fix that.
The price point is a bit steep for something that would only be used a few minutes a day, but it does make planking more fun. There’s four free games available (Galaxy Adventure, Speed Gliding, Color Chase, Space Escape), and many more under a premium subscription service.
Learn more at www.trystealth.com.
Aletha Health’s Hip Hook
Hip Hook is a tool designed specifically to release tension in the psoas and iliacus muscles. These are muscles that make up the hip flexor, and tightness here is often directly linked to pain in the back, tailbone, hips, knees, and feet. The iliacus muscle is especially prone to holding tension and is notoriously hard to target. This device was therefore designed by a physical therapist to target the hip flexor.
Truth be told, when I first unboxed this device, I was a skeptic and thought the device would not provide relief. However, after feeling the edges of the device I confirmed that they were all rounded and the part of the hook that releases tension in the psoas and iliacus muscles is actually covered by rubber as well.
The closest analogy that I could find in my mind to how the Hip Hook feels is when I’ve used lacrosse or massage balls for trigger point and myofascial release. There’s that initial bit of soreness as you find those trigger points, but ultimately it feels good and is easy to adjust with the level. I’d make sure to watch the “How To Use The Hip Hook” video to get acquainted though.
Learn more at alethahealth.com.