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We slump at the office. We slouch at the computer. We lounge at the table and we lie in front of the TV. Is it any wonder back pain is described as a 20th century epidemic? Does anyone have a decent chair?

Nada Chair, a Minneapolis-based company, thinks it does. It is the Back-Up, a portable back-sling that, the company says, actually promotes good posture and alleviates back pain caused by stress on the muscles and ligaments that support the spine. By design, the Back-Up applies traction to the lower back by using reverse pressure from the knees.

"I invented Back-Up for people who are 'terminal' sitters," writes Victor Toso, president of Nada Chair. Among those he includes court reporters, word processors and computer engineers. He also recommends Back-Up for the recreational sitter on benches and stools at ball games and concerts.

To use, the cushion is placed against the lower back while the adjustable straps fit around the knees. Tension is controlled by the seatbelt. Back-Up folds, zips and velcroes into a neat bundle for easy transport. It is available in navy, red, royal, green, black and camouglage and retails for about $50. To order call (800) 7-BACKUP.

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