10 posture correctors to support your neck and back

Concerned about your posture? Follow our perfect posture plan, and find the best posture correctors to provide support, according to the experts.

Woman wearing posture corrector

by Lorna White |

We're all guilty of slouching and spending most of our time hunched over something. It's perfectly natural that throughout our daily lives our posture starts to slip. So, we've found the best posture correctors that can help.

Here, we look at why posture is so important, the best posture correctors, exercises to strengthen your back muscles, and other ways to improve your posture without a corrector.

Can you correct years of bad posture?

In a bid to try and save our posture and stop us slouching, many of us are investing in posture correctors to prevent slouching and sort out our poor posture for good! However, using a posture corrector is step one on your journey to better back health.

If you've had a hunched stance for years, you can still make improvements to your posture using a corrector and specialised exercises. Saloni Doshi, a physical therapist with Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women's Hospital says, "It's not as hard as you may think. Better posture is often just a matter of changing your activities and strengthening your muscles".

Whether it's over our phones or over the sink doing the washing up, carrying bags of shopping, or other physical activity, our daily activities have us slouching a little too often, and over time, this constant slouched position can often have us feeling neck and shoulder pains that can ultimately be alleviated.

Why is it so important to have good posture?

Not only will standing up straight and improving your posture make you look taller and more confident but taking care of your posture will also help prevent any back and neck aches and pains at the end of the day.

The complications of poor posture include back pain, spinal dysfunction, joint degeneration, rounded shoulders, and even a potbelly.

"Posture is a very complex interplay between the neurological and musculoskeletal systems within the body, which all come together to make up a specific position. Some of the factors involved with modulating the interplay are habits, neurological reflexes, adaptations of the body, and time." Says Dr. Steven Low Ph.D., author of Overcoming Poor Posture: A Systematic Approach to Refining Your Posture for Health, physical therapist, and senior trainer for Dragon Door's Progressive Calisthenics Certification (PCC).

According to Owain Evans, DC MChiro MRCC, founder of Backspace Chiropractic Fitness in London, there is no such thing as 'perfect posture'.

"Good posture is simply how well our body parts line up to best distribute the forces of gravity and shock through the joints and muscles. However, bad posture can leave your body prone to tension and injury, so it’s important to ensure you’re comfortable to avoid these risks." Says Owain.

Do posture correctors work?

Yes, if used correctly and in addition to exercises that help improve your posture.

While posture correctors are great when it comes to reminding us how much we're slouching and how we should really be holding ourselves on a daily basis, Owain says our body already has posture muscles that are perfectly designed to hold us upright.

"As with any muscle, if you don’t use them, you lose them! Wearing a posture corrector long term can mean that the harness does the job for your muscles and you may become reliant on the harness to hold yourself up rather than using and training your muscles into a good posture."

"That's why posture correctors are best used short-term for a week or two to help correct your posture. Your body will thank you for learning how to hold your body correctly without the use of products long-term!" Says Owain.

You can retrain your muscles and learn to recognise bad posture habits by wearing a posture corrector for short periods, such as an hour a day.

Woman wearing posture corrector
©Credit: Getty Images

What to look for in a posture corrector

Posture correctors can come in all shapes and sizes with some fitting around the waist and others strapping around the shoulders to try and improve our posture. Not everyone will have the same posture, and it may take a little trial and error to find the right posture corrector for you.

Owain says, "Posture correctors are designed to pull your shoulder blades back and restrict slouching. This means your spine won’t be rounding forwards and your body weight will be distributed evenly through the spine, shoulders, and neck, helping to avoid any back and neck discomfort."

Look for a posture corrector that:

• Encourages muscle activation

• Is effective in one key area (and that it's where you need it most). For example, if you find you have neck problems, it might be best to get a neck posture corrector

• Is easy to put on and take off

• Is comfortable to wear - look for one with fully adjustable straps so you can find the perfect fit for you. Most posture correctors will be uncomfortable at first, and you may find them a bit irritating around the clavicle, but this is normal, if your body has been used to being in the wrong posture, being in the correct posture will feel strange until you get used to it.

If you've previously suffered back, shoulder, and neck injuries that affect your joints and discs or if you have osteoarthritis or other musculoskeletal health problems, consult your GP or health professional before buying a posture corrector.

The best posture correctors UK

This unisex posture corrector can be easily worn under t-shirts to act as a discreet back brace and straightener on an everyday basis. This kind of corrector is more designed for those with upper shoulder, back, and neck aches.

Specs: Velcro fastening, ventilating materials, lightweight, sizes S/M and L/XL

User review: "So I've had pain in my shoulder for months. Tried physio exercises, heat, ice, everything to stop my shoulder hurting and improve mobility. Got this as a last-ditched attempt to help before resigning myself to steroid injection treatment. Half an hour a day - less than a month later - shoulder is cured! Turns out I just had rubbish posture. Pretty comfortable to wear while being supportive, easy to put on and adjust. Has made the world of difference."

Pros: Can be worn under clothes and unisex, comes in multiple size options.

Cons: Some reviewers found the straps tend to curl.

This posture corrector will provide the support your upper back is seeking, promoting blood circulation while relieving back pain, helping to improve your overall spine health.

Made of lightweight and breathable neoprene, the brace can comfortably be worn under a shirt, so you can correct your posture while you work or run errands.

Specs: Anti-scratch pads, breathable neoprene, unique correcting posture.

User review: "I had a similar product years ago, but it was not as well made and as comfortable as this one is. The extra padding to stop it digging into the armpits offers complete comfort. The quality is excellent, and I have no hesitation in recommending this to others as a pain reliever and bad posture corrector."

Pros: Shoulder pads and adjustable for best fit and comfort, CE certified.

Cons: Some petite users found the brace too large, better suited to larger frames.

Upright GO 2 is a comfortable strapless electronic posture corrector that you place on your upper back. It is very easily hidden and reminds you to sit or stand up straight with a real-time gentle vibration reminder. Eight out of 10 Upright users report a posture improvement of 92 per cent in less than two weeks!

It connects to an app on your phone which provides real-time feedback and a personalised training plan.

Specs: Includes UPRIGHT GO 2 posture device, a travel case, USB charging cable, nine reusable hypoallergenic medical-grade adhesives, adhesive removal tool, and a user manual.

User review: "This is the best product for posture correction. (I used a similar product approx. 10 years ago for 1 year, and that one improved my posture a lot, but it could not sense every slight slouch.) I have a bad posture from childhood, and tried almost everything to improve it. This product makes my back muscles work, those muscles I don't use normally or I need to improve (in the gym). The small vibrations let me know when my posture is incorrect, and reminds me to use my muscles. It senses every little movement, which I really appreciate. You can set the sensitivity, vibration, training etc. The adhesives are really massive, you can use 1 multiple times. This product is amazing."

Pros: Discreet enough to wear under clothes, and can be worn for extended periods of time, unlike traditional posture correctors. Good for taller or shorter frames as it's just a patch you wear on your back.

Cons: Some users found the sticky pad hard to adhere.

This posture corrector is more suitable for those with posture issues in the full length of the spine, or the thoracic spine, as it comes down to wrap around the waist to provide more support. Again, this is suitable for both men and women and in four different sizes. Start wearing it for 20-30 minutes a day and feel the difference.

Specs: Lightweight and breathable mesh, durable design, four different sizes.

User review: “I Have suffered from a recurrent back problem for many years and have been looking for a product that would support both my upper and lower back. This has been a godsend, it's comfortable, very supportive and well made. I can wear it for up to eight hours, so it's been perfect for a day at work or a day out. I find that it gives me more confidence as I don't feel that my back will give up on me when I wear it! I Cannot recommend this product enough, and the sellers are a delight!”

Pros: Easy to use, provides full back support.

Cons: Can be seen through clothing as is quite bulky.

Related: The best pillow for back pain

This is a great option if you're looking for an upper back brace that's more subtle. This corrector comes in a beige colour making it great if you like to wear white shirts or t-shirts. It's also not too bulky around the back and shoulders.

Specs: Crafted from a strong, lightweight and breathable fabric, available in three sizes.

User review: "This product does exactly what it says it will do, but it will only work if you understand how to use it correctly! When properly adjusted, this product will be comfortable to wear to the point of you not even knowing it's there... as long as you maintain good posture. If you start to slouch or roll your shoulders forwards it becomes uncomfortable, which is your physical cue to check your posture and sit back up straight. "

Pros: For men and women, fully adjustable, available in S, M and L, easy to put on and adjust.

Cons: We couldn't find any!

Specifically designed for women by doctors, this back support also provides a fun pop of colour under your clothes! This posture corrector also comes in a range of sizes meaning you can find the perfect one for you.

Specs: Neoprene, money back if you're not satisfied.

User review: "I have really poor posture get severe back pain from it. This is the second or third corrector I have tried. I'm fairly petite so have struggled to find a corrector small enough for me - this one fits really well and provides sufficient support."

Pros: Comes in S, M, and L, and with an information handbook with exercises and info for helping you to improve your posture with recommended lifestyle changes too

Cons: Some reviewers found the size guide inaccurate and ended up receiving the wrong sized product for them.

Male and female bodies are different, especially in the upper back, shoulders, and chest. Unlike unisex correctors, this posture corrector is tailored specifically for the male body based on the feedback of hundreds of men throughout the UK. The soft and thin neoprene straps won't pinch underarm hair and easily adjust to fit chest sizes.

Specs: Neoprene with hook and loop closures. Available in chest size 28" to 48".

User review: "I was a bit dubious in ordering this if I'm honest, simply down to the size as I'm a 48 chest, sometimes 50. But I need not have worried as it fits well. The product was well packed and arrived on time and instructions good, but you can work it out for yourself. I can certainly feel the difference. As soon as you put it on you can feel yourself being pulled back, but it's not uncomfortable. Great product and I'm looking forward to using it further."

Pros: CE-certified posture support, can be worn under clothes. Free UK delivery and 90 days 100 per cent money-back guarantee.

Cons: Some reviewers found it uncomfortable to wear and difficult to adjust once on.

Another back support specifically designed with women in mind, this is great if you don't like the idea of wearing a bra AND a posture corrector at the same time!

Specs: 90 per cent polyamide, 10 per cent elastane. Interior lining: 91 per cent polyamide, 9 per cent elastane.

User review: "This bra definitely helps with your posture. I have terrible posture and when I am wearing this bra, I am always aware to sit up straight. You might want to start with a few hours first until you get used to it. After wearing it all day it does get a bit uncomfortable. I imagine that is to be expected."

Pros: Size guide is based on your bra size, so you're more likely to get an accurate fit.

Cons: Some reviews said it didn't improve their posture at all – so some people may do better with a brace rather than a bra.

This posture corrector is ideal if you feel like you need more support in your lower back, particularly lumbar and thoracic support. It is also a better fitting option for those with taller frames who find posture supports ride up under their arms. It's adjustable so it can fit snugly around your body and is suitable for both men and women.

Specs: Available in six sizes, eco-friendly packaging.

User review: "Don't know what I would do without it. I've got a trapped disk nerve and was not able to sit for long or travel in the car, but I can do both now, I even managed a 5-hour car journey. It helps so much."

Pros: A huge range of sizes, from S to XXXL.

Cons: Some reviewers found this lumbar support brace too long in the body to fit comfortably, particularly when sitting down.

Those who experience neck pain may benefit from wearing a neck brace or neck support. This one is comfortable enough to wear while working from home or watching TV. It provides support and limits movement to relieve pain and pressure in the spine.

Specs: Made of double layer foam and EVA foam. There are a number of sizes available, ranging from small to X-large, and there are different height variations too.

User review: "The 3.5" one is great to wear when you're doing something that requires movement. It's shaped to sit on your collarbone so it's more effective and comfier to wear. I'm 5'6 and a clothes size 12 and I got the large one which is spot on."

Pros: Users quickly feel the benefit of using this brace. 100 per cent refund guarantee.

Cons: The sizing is a little confusing, so you may end up doing a bit of trial and error.

Verdict: Best posture corrector overall

The overall best posture corrector has to be the Upright Go as it not only corrects your posture, the training programme teaches you to continue to have better posture, so it has more long-term benefits. It also doesn't have the drawback of many traditional posture correctors that may weaken back muscles rather than strengthen them if worn for prolonged periods.

Those with back pain may benefit more however from actual support, and for this, we'd recommend the spinal support posture corrector. It's well priced and is designed to support the whole back, from neck to lumbar issues.

Related: The best orthopaedic pillows for a pain-free night's sleep

Things to consider before trying a posture corrector

Owain says if you’re ever experiencing persistent back or neck pain or other symptoms such as headaches or mobility issues, you should always seek the advice of a chiropractor for expert support before investing in a posture corrector.

"Posture correctors are generally safe when used as an educational tool for achieving good posture, but if you experience any discomfort when wearing the harness, seek a chiropractor’s advice."

Back posture corrector
©Credit: Getty Images

Posture corrector side effects - how to use a posture corrector and how not to

Do - wear your posture corrector for short periods of time.

Don't - wear your posture corrector every day, or for whole days.

Do - take note of how your back feels when it is in correct posture.

Don't - let yourself slouch back into the bad posture as soon as you remove your posture corrector.

Do - exercise in addition to wearing your posture corrector.

Don't - think of your posture corrector as the fix.

10 habits that can lead to bad posture

Unfortunately, lots of habits from our daily lives can lead to bad posture, neck and back pain, such as:

• Looking down at your phone or leaning over a keyboard

• Wearing heels

• Sitting for long periods of time

• Not exercising

• Carrying heavy bags, or lifting wrong

• Wearing an ill-fitting bra

• Stress

• Driving for long periods

• Sleeping on your stomach

• Your diet and smoking

How to fix your posture

Firstly, you need to identify where your key issues lie. Perhaps you tend to stand with your weight resting on one hip, or your job means you're leaning over a keyboard all day. You may also have a physical condition such as scoliosis (a sideways curvature of the spine).

The likelihood is that at the end of the day you'll feel pressure in some part of your spine, hips, or neck - and this is where you need to work on your posture.

The exercises below work on your core muscles, encouraging your body to hold itself in the correct position, with proper posture.

If you're not sure how to do the exercises, you can find video tutorials on YouTube or ask a friend or instructor at your gym.

Exercises for improving posture

Exercises to correct a hunched back

• gently lengthening your neck upwards as you tuck in your chin

• seated rows in a gym or pull-ups

• chest stretches

Exercises to correct a flat back

• plank

• side-lying leg raises

• chest stretches

• seated rows in a gym, or pull-ups

• back extensions

Exercises to correct uneven hips

• plank

• side-lying leg raises

• bridges

Woman planking
©Credit: Getty Images

Exercises to correct a poking chin

• gently lengthen your neck upwards as you tuck in your chin

• bring your shoulder blades down and back towards your spine

• pull in your lower tummy muscles to maintain a natural curve in your lower back

• adjust your seating - the NHS's website has some brilliant advice on how to make sure you're sitting comfortably, particularly at your desk

Exercises to correct rounded shoulders

• plank

• bridges

• seated rows in a gym or pull-ups

• chest stretches

Exercises for neck stiffness and pain

• chest stretches

• neck stretches – gently lower your left ear towards your left shoulder; hold for 10 to 15 deep breaths, then repeat on opposite side

• neck rotations – slowly turn your chin towards one shoulder; hold for 10 to 15 deep breaths, then repeat on the opposite side

Exercises to correct a pronounced curve in the lower back

• plank

• side-lying leg raises

• hip flexor stretches

• standing thigh stretch

How to improve posture with exercise

As all our bodies are so different in shape and size, we all have different posture that works for us and our bodies. There are however some ways we can find our posture when we feel a little uncomfortable, says Owain.

"If you're sitting for long periods, try to sit back into your chair, use your chair's lumbar support to preserve the curve in your low back, and lean back into your chair to give your postural muscles a break. For your neck, roll your shoulders backwards and down away from your ears. These positions will help evenly distribute your weight and maintain the natural curvature of your spine.

"You can also improve your posture by simply getting up and moving around every 20-30 minutes. This can make a massive difference as you’re changing your posture regularly (an easy trick is to stand up every time you’re on the phone).

"My other top tip is to take a quick walk around your garden or neighbourhood or do some simple stretches while the kettle is boiling for a cuppa. Try to incorporate a good balance of exercises throughout your week to help keep your muscles and joints working as they should, this will also relieve some of the discomforts you feel whilst at work; I would recommend a mix of cardiovascular and strengthening exercises such as Pilates and dancing for anyone experiencing postural issues."

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