Journal of Ergonomics

Journal of Ergonomics
Open Access

ISSN: 2165-7556

+44 1300 500008


Does BetterBack Lumbar Support and Posture Trainer Decrease Back Pain and Improve Posture?

Amy D Parker*, James R Burns, Joseph C Boyd, Lauren M Reynolds, Kristyn T Atkins and Wesley A Pollitte

Background: The incidence of Low Back Pain (LBP) in the United States is a common occurrence. One proposed cause is poor posture characterized by reduced lumbar lordosis while sitting. Proper retraining of seated posture could potentially increase lumbar lordosis and therefore reduce LBP. Various lumbar support devices, such as the BetterBack device, have been designed to decrease pain and improve posture, however, there is limited evidence to support these claims.

Methods: 18 subjects participated in a two-week study during which they wore the BetterBack device for 15 minutes per day for 14 days. Posture was analyzed using the PostureScreen® and SitScreen® mobile application. Participants rated pain with a Visual Analog Scale (VAS) each day before and after wearing the device.

Results: Average daily pain scores for all subjects after wearing the device were significantly less (p<0.05) than before wearing the device, with a mean decrease of 1.56 cm on the VAS. Pain scores were decreased on day 15 compared to initial scores, but these changes were not significant. Several postural measurements showed significant mean improvements, including the initial sitting thorax angle and forward head shift off of vertical in standing. The trunk thigh angle while sitting with the device on also improved.

Conclusion: The BetterBack device provided effective lumbar support immediately reducing LBP, but did not carryover without the device. Significant improvements were found in some of the postural measurements, however, the interpretation of the effectiveness of the device is limited by a small effect size.

Published Date: 2019-07-10; Received Date: 2019-06-12