Back Pain

Updated 14 November 2016

Good posture, healthier spine

Look down and take note of how you're sitting in front of your computer. Bad posture? Try to get it right before World Spine Day (16 October). We've got some exercises for you.

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In this technological age, people are experiencing greater levels of spinal discomfort and disability related to stress and poor posture. Many people commonly work and play in cramped, awkward, slouched postures.

The resulting pandemic of work and recreation-related chronic spinal disorders compromises the quality of our lives. Every year spinal disorders and back pain result in expenditures and losses of billions of dollars related to healthcare fees and diminished individual income and productivity.

Training helps the posture
Recent studies indicate that training school children in beneficial postural habits and exercises can be helpful in facilitating postural improvement.

This is very encouraging because in today’s sedentary digital culture, many children spend long hours of school and recreational time in stooped, awkward postures that have been correlated with poor spinal health in several studies.

Other recent research studies indicate that the spinal health of adolescent students has been worsening over a ten-year period.

To combat this trend just as the dental profession educated and empowered the public to care for their dental health daily, we are now launching an initiative to educate, empower and mobilise the public to “straighten up” and care for their posture and spinal health daily.

Straighten Up and Move is a worldwide health initiative geared to improve the posture, structural development and self-esteem of our youth and all of our citizens.

A simple vision
The vision of Straighten Up is very simple: we envision a day when everyone performs a short, enjoyable spinal exercise module daily just as we brush our teeth.

Straighten Up and Move also includes healthy lifestyle recommendations aimed at markedly reducing the alarming rate of obesity in our children.

Multidisciplinary seed and Delphi panels, including a wide range of health care professionals, fitness experts and leaders of the World Health Organisation and United States Bone and Joint Decade have developed the Straighten Up and Move programme.

A number of accolades
Though still in its infancy as a health initiative, Straighten Up has garnered a number of accolades from health and fitness leaders including Lee Haney, past chairman of the US President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. Lee describes the program as “awesome” with “vision and much promise”.

In January of 2005, Tommy Thompson, then US Secretary of Health and Human Services, “commended” the individuals who developed “Straighten Up” for their “leadership in the field of spinal health”.

Straighten Up is proud to be a 50th Anniversary Partner to Get America Moving, an initiative of the US President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports during its fiftieth anniversary year (1956-2006).

The United States Bone and Joint Decade is another prominent partner with Straighten Up. This prestigious research and educational initiative, created and empowered by proclamation of the President of the United States, has adopted Straighten Up as its spinal health promotion programme.

South African partners
The Chiropractic Association of South Africa (CASA) is proud to partner with Straighten Up and Move. We want to insure that our children learn great spinal health habits, by regular performance of the Straighten Up exercise module and adoption of its healthy lifestyle recommendations.

We encourage our children and all of our citizens to practice the Posture Pod Flying Friends exercises shown below daily for better spinal health beginning on World Spine Day. If you do not have disorders which prohibit movement, why not give them a try. You will feel and look better with better posture.

- (CASA, September 2006)

 

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Susan qualified as a Physiotherapist in 1990, and completed her master’s degree in Physiotherapy in 2013 at the University of Pretoria. She has a special interest in human biomechanics, as well as the interaction between domestic and work-related ergonomics.

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