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Correct your work posture with BackJoy

Correct your work posture with BackJoy

Nepalis are no strangers to back aches. Yet seldom do they seek effective remedy before it is late and the innocuous aches morph into serious concerns. Nor does their attention go to preventing any such pain in the first place, by maintaining the right sitting posture for instance.  

Aziz Shrestha, 38, owner of BackJoy Nepal, was a victim of this ingrained habit. Shrestha suffered from a back issue as the second vertebrae of his spine wasn’t producing enough fluid for smooth spinal functioning. As a result, he found it hard to sit still for long. Physiotherapy helped him only a bit and he soon found himself scouring the market for products to help him. But he didn’t find any.

Then, during one of his trips to Thailand, a friend of his introduced him to SitSmart, an innovative American “sitting device”. SitSmart pushes the body to a mechanically correct posture by activating core muscles, tilting the pelvis forward, and allowing your spine to obtain the natural S-curve that relieves back pain. It supports your gluteus in a way that isn’t invasive and lowers the pressure on your tailbone.

It is designed specially to ease the pain of those with lower back aches and slouching issues; the product prevents spinal pressure and signals your body to sit up straight.

When he tried it, SitSmart took the pain off Shrestha’s back. On returning to Nepal, he realized how most Nepalis were unaware of a fairly affordable device that could prevent unnecessary suffering. Shrestha, together with his wife, Sadichhya, 33, espied a business opportunity and took the plunge.

They officially launched BackJoy Nepal at the end of 2019 and even opened a store for it. Business had just started trickling in when the Covid-19 pandemic hit. “During the first lockdown, our store was completely shut,” he tells ApEx.

The company then decided to go online, and Instagram and Facebook pages became their main medium for marketing and advertising. The devices were also made available on Daraz. Their products include SitzRight Seat Cushion, Inflight Neck Pillow, Perfect Fit Lumbar Support, Trigger Point Relief, Adjustable Massage Balls, FeelGood Kneeler, StandRight Comfort Shoes, and the aforementioned bestseller SitSmart.

Sales of SitSmart were fairly smooth even during the lockdown. As many were spending hours working on a desk inside their homes, complaining of body aches as they had no place to go except to the other room, the company advertised SitSmart as a work-from-home essential.  

In Shrestha’s experience, customers usually buy BackJoy’s SitSmart products for family members, mostly parents and grandparents who suffer from back pain. However, due to the device’s versatility and functionality, it isn’t just useful for the elderly or the sick. According to the company’s official website, SitSmart doesn’t just help with lower back pain, but also with back injuries, herniated discs, degenerated discs, compressed discs, hip injuries, neck/cervical pain, and sciatica, among other disorders. Effective for anyone between 55-135 kg, office workers also use it to instill correct posture habits and prevent future back issues. 

BackJoy Nepal’s products start at Rs 2,000. The SitSmart products vary in price, in line with their usefulness and material used. The venture offers four different kinds: Posture Core, Core Traction, Posture Plus, and SitzRight. The cheapest starts at Rs 4,500 while the most expensive one will set you back by Rs 7,500.

As these aren’t the things every Nepali household can buy for every family member and as they are usually bought one at a time, Shrestha wanted to make sure that people knew what they’re investing in. This is why BackJoy Nepal is also sending out SitSmart samples to potential customers before they purchase the product.

“Everyone who has approached us for samples has ended up buying,” Shrestha says. “There were a few who came back to return them—but it was so they could get a better version of SitSmart, and not for a refund.”

Samples and bought goods are delivered after orders from Instagram and Daraz. BackJoy Nepal’s products are directly shipped from Singapore, where BackJoy’s Asian headquarters are located, and prices of all products are consistent with prices across Asia.

So far, the biggest contributor to business has been through word-of-mouth recommendations. However, BackJoy Nepal is set to expand its clientele and the owner is in talks with popular malls around Kathmandu to set up shops.

“If things go as planned, more Nepalis can easily access these chiropractors and experts- approved products,” Shrestha says.