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Straighten Up South Africa

* The information provided is for general information and it is recommended that you should consult a medical practitioner for a physical examination, diagnosis and formal advice before undertaking any new exercise programme ChiroClinic.co.za accepts no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.*

Good Back Exercises Video

You can watch the "Straighten Up" exercise programme as done by adults and children below for free.

I hope you enjoyed the video. It does explain the back exercises very well I think. Now you can download the "Straighten Up" exercise sheets in pdf format for free again. There is one available for adults and one for children courtesy of the British Chiropractic Association.

Straighten Up Exercise Programme

Programme Goals:

  1. To improve posture and function
  2. To stabilize core musculature
  3. To enhance spinal and neurological health
  4. To prevent spinal joint restrictions

You can read more info on where the "Straighten Up" programme came from, which is being promoted around the world for "World Spine Day" and in South Africa through the chiropractors of the Chiropractic Association of South Africa.

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Introduction to Straighten Up

Straighten Up South Africa Exercises

A Short Introduction to "Straighten Up America" By Ron Kirk, Seed and Delphi Panel Facilitator.

"Straighten Up America" is a bold and innovative health promotion initiative designed to empower the American people toward better spinal health and an improved quality of life. This national program also serves as the prototype for an international health promotion initiative.

The vision driving Straighten Up America" is very simple. We envision a time when every American will take two or three minutes every day to care for their spinal health, just as they care for their dental health. The need for spinal health promotion is very great as evidenced by the many billions of dollars spent each year related to the disability of low back pain alone. Yet before the creation of Straighten Up", there had not been a short, simple, engaging spinal exercise program specifically designed to promote the public’s spinal health.

To address this problem in the summer of 2004, a five person expert seed panel and a diversely comprised Delphi review panel of approximately 100 health care providers and fitness experts began shaping and testing a spinal exercise module known as Straighten Up America". Current Delphi panel members include Nancy Lane and Toby King, the President and Executive Director of the United States Bone and Joint Decade research and educational initiative.

A free, public service program, "Straighten Up" is packed into three minutes of fun, engaging, easy to perform healthful activities. Equally useful as an ergonomic break, exercise warm-up or cool down, "Straighten Up" is designed to get people of all ages and ethnicity up and moving, while they improve their posture and spinal health. The program also includes a short set of healthy lifestyle recommendations congruent with the goals and objectives of Healthy People 2010, America on the Move, Steps to a Healthier US and the 5 A Day programs. Straighten Up America partners in promoting the nation’s health with the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports.

Though still in its infancy as a health initiative, "Straighten Up" has garnered an array of accolades from prominent health and fitness leaders. In January of 2005 Tommy Thompson, then Secretary of Health and Human Services, "commended" the individuals who developed "Straighten Up America" for their "leadership in the field of spinal health". Lee Haney, past chairman of the Presidents Council on Physical Fitness and Sports describes the program as "awesome" with "vision and much promise".

When we tested the program last summer, the results were very promising. After five weeks of daily practice of "Straighten Up" exercises, 83% of study participants reported that they had improved their posture. 78% reported that they had strengthened their core muscles. 80% reported that they sat and stood more uprightly and that their backs were more comfortable.

Participants in our initial study ranged from college students to individuals in their eighties. Young children also love Straighten Up" and are practising it enthusiastically. We hope that children everywhere will practice these beneficial spinal health activities. Dr. Jose Carlos Martines, the Director of the Child and Adolescent Health and Development Cluster of the World Health Organization, shares this hope and helped to shape the program as a Delphi panel member. Currently we are creating multiple language translations of "Straighten Up" for global habituation.

Straighten Up’s Flying Friends/Posture Pod has been incorporated within the United States Bone and Joint Decade’s preventive educational program for high school students. This educational program, known as "Protect Your Bones and Joints", is designed to promote positive bone and joint health behaviours and prevent disorders such as osteoporosis, arthritis and athletic injuries.

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Straighten Up Lifestyle

  1. Choose to improve. You are worth it. Maintain a positive perspective. Take small steps at first; set specific measurable health goals and achieve them. Celebrate your health successes; learn from temporary setbacks and move on. Choose to see life as an adventure. Keep learning for a lifetime.
  2. Choose to enjoy healthy, invigorating activity at least 30 minutes daily when possible - Begin slowly, making gradual improvements. Keep an activity log or calendar. If you buy a pedometer, you can count and track your steps. Choosing active hobbies will add variety and spice to your life. Exercise for flexibility, balance, strength and endurance. Perform "Straighten Up" daily to improve your posture and strengthen your core muscles.
  3. Choose to live tobacco free for your personal health and for your loved ones - Tobacco has detrimental effects on your nervous system and skeletal structures, as well as on your lungs and heart.
  4. Choose healthy foods. Eat naturally. Enjoy whole grain breads and cereals. Choose several daily servings of fresh fruit and vegetables rich in antioxidants and phytonutrients. Calcium and magnesium rich foods help to build strong spinal columns. Avoid saturated and trans-fats found in fast, fried foods. Instead eat more omega 3 fats from flax products and small ocean fish for healthy spinal joints. Choose high quality protein foods. Avoid refined sweets, such as sodas and candy. When supplementing your diet with vitamins and minerals, make quality choices. Try to eat in a relaxed atmosphere.
  5. Choose good posture while sitting, standing or lifting. Hold your head high; keep your shoulders back. Lift by bending your legs with objects held close to your torso. This helps to prevent injury. Take frequent mini breaks. Segments of "Straighten Up" work well for this purpose. Change work positions often.
  6. Choose a balanced supportive book bag/back pack for school, work or recreation. Carry less weight at one time. Use a bag with broad, padded straps securely positioned on both shoulders.
  7. Choose a comfortable supportive mattress. For optimal spinal health sleep on your side or on your back, not face down. Plan for sufficient restful sleep.
  8. Choose to be quiet. The stress of life impacts your health and your posture. Take time for relaxation and renewal. Practice thankfulness and positive thinking. Reflect, pray or meditate daily. Read uplifting writings.
  9. Choose to serve others. Voluntarism and service enhance the quality of our lives and our relationships.
  10. Choose to be kind to your spine. Regular spinal health check-ups, care and exercises help to ensure that your spine is balanced, aligned and well-adjusted. A healthy spine and nervous system add balance and harmony to life.
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