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Kiwis Urged to Straighten Up

Kiwis Urged to Straighten Up

Jolanta Houston and kids

Alvin Li, Seyoung Kang

New Zealand Chiropractors’ Association
Media Release

Thursday 16 October 2008

Kiwis Urged to Straighten Up
Chiropractors are using today – World Spine Day – to encourage Kiwis to improve their posture and look after their backs.

The ACC spends $130 million on back pain each year, but the New Zealand Chiropractors’ Association (NZCA) says a regular programme of stretching could help prevent such pain.

“Looking after our spines should be something we work on every day – just like brushing our teeth,” says NZCA vice president, Dr Simon Kelly.

This week the NZCA launched Straighten Up New Zealand, a simple, engaging spinal exercise programme, designed to promote spinal health, in schools throughout the country.

“We want to target children because good habits are formed at an early age,” says Dr Kelly. “If we can get them into a programme of regular spinal exercises now, we can help them avoid back and neck problems later in life.”

He says the association is keen to promote the programme because members see many patients with back and neck pain caused by bad posture.

“A lot of the people we see have forward-head and rounded-protracted-shoulder postures, which is common in countries with high levels of computer usage. Rises in obesity and an increasingly sedentary lifestyle are also contributing factors.”

Phil Handcock, a senior lecturer at the School of Physical Education, Otago University, specialising in exercise prescription and injury prevention, says the programme will help the spine by improving spinal mobility.

“There is no doubt that the human body responds positively to movement, and the Straighten Up initiative is a great way to remind New Zealanders of the importance of regular physical activity.

“These simple stretches will also foster more awareness of postures throughout the day, and will hopefully reinforce how satisfying it feels to move and be active. What a great way to take an active break at school or work and maintain an active lifestyle.”

Dr Kelly says the NZCA has produced brochures and posters, and developed a website,, to support the campaign.

“I’d encourage every New Zealander to get online, or pick up a brochure from their local NZCA chiropractor, and take just a few minutes each day to improve their spinal health and their quality of life.”



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