New App Makes Smartphone Users Stand Up Straight

Sep 27, 2017
Courtesy of: Dr. Nichole Ann Walz

A chiropractic couple noticed a trend in people using smartphones – poor posture. But Josh Huddleston and Nichole Walz decided to put their concern into action, with an application device that will let users know they need to stand up straight.

Huddleston grew up in Barnegat Township and was a 2003 graduate of Southern Regional High School and a 2008 graduate from Rutgers University. He received his chiropractic degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic in Florida, where he was a classmate of Walz, a Michigan native.

They graduated in December 2011 together and soon after practiced in South Florida (West Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale), from 2012 to 2015. 

“We had several friends that practiced chiropractic in Singapore, who told us about the opportunity, and we decided to take a leap of faith, sell everything we owned and move there in February 2015,” said Walz. “We practiced in Singapore for two years. While living there, we spent a lot of time helping patients and seeing the negative affects that poor posture had on their necks and backs. We would help patients by adjusting them, giving them stretches and exercises, then see them slouching over on their cell phones in the waiting room of our office or on the subway. So we realized we had to do something about it.”

The result was Anjali, a mobile app available for Android only at the moment, but coming soon for iPhone. Walz said the Anjali App alerts you when you have poor posture while using your smartphone. As you start to slouch, the screen will dim and your phone will vibrate or beep.

“There is a report card feature inside the app which helps you track your progress,” she said. “It will notify you how many times you slouched today compared to yesterday, last week and month. It also tracks how many times you looked at your cell phone in one day. There is a feed section inside the app, which includes hand-picked content by us, with anything from posture stretches (and) exercises to pillows.” 

The app is subscription based, but comes with a free seven-day trial. After seven days, the app costs $2.99 per month, $6.99 for six months, or $9.99 for one year.

“After we left Singapore, we took some time off of practicing to develop this mobile app and get it launched to the public,” said Huddleston. “Rather than maybe help 100 or 200 people a week, we thought it might be better if we could reach out to maybe a million out a million people, which we can do with this new app.”

He said poor posture has been linked to scoliosis, headaches and back pain, while good posture has been linked to having more energy, less stress and overall better health.

“We figured if you are going to be on your phone all day, you might as well not sacrifice your health at the same time,” he said. “Our stay in Singapore made us realize that this app was needed. In Singapore, you often travel by subway, and we’d be sitting down and noticing a lot of people standing around with their smartphones, and slouching over.”

Walz said the app could also be helpful for children.

“Bad posture is starting as soon as a child is able to hold a smartphone or tablet,” she said

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— Eric Englund

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