New Zealand Chiropractors’ Asscociation
Media Release 10/10/08

New Zealanders should perform simple exercises every day to avoid back and neck pain.

That’s the message from the New Zealand Chiropractors’ Association (NZCA), as they launch Straighten Up New Zealand, ahead of World Spine Day on Thursday 16 October.

“Straighten Up New Zealand is a simple, engaging spinal exercise programme, designed to promote spinal health,” says NZCA vice president, Dr Simon Kelly.

“Looking after our spines should be something we work on every day – just like brushing our teeth.

The programme will be launched in primary schools across the country this week.

“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.”

Research has shown an increase in slouched posture and related musculoskeletal disorders in countries with rising levels of computer usage. Rises in obesity and an increasingly sedentary lifestyle are also contributing factors.

“Studies indicate this trend is not limited to adults. It has also been identified in adolescents.”

Dr Kelly says back and neck pain cause a great deal of suffering and cost taxpayers millions of dollars, but a regular stretching programme can help improve posture and prevent pain.

“The Straighten Up campaign was developed in the US. It’s been very popular and is now being adopted by countries all over the world.”

The association 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 promote better spinal health and improve their quality of life.”

Media Release 10/10/2008 (28 KB)          Background (53 KB)

For more info contact Dr Dean Carter, Straighten Up NZ Co-ordinator