Straighten Up for World Spine Day: New Free App Launches to Help All Ages Improve Posture and Spinal Health
Musculoskeletal issues are the cause of one-third of missed work − second only to the common cold; poll reveals almost half of Canadians suffered from four or more MSK conditions in the last year.
TORONTO, Oct. 16, 2014 /CNW/ – The Canadian Chiropractic Association (CCA), in partnership with the 10 provincial chiropractic associations, has launched a new app today to mark World Spine Day. The 2014 World Spine Day theme is “Straighten Up and Move”, and the aptly named Straighten Up Canada app aims to accomplish just that—improve posture and spinal health through simple preventative posture exercises. It is the first free Canadian app of its kind.
The Straighten Up Canada app provides users with 12 short exercise videos as well as a tracking feature to monitor progress and share with others through social media. It also includes a “Find a Chiropractor” search function to locate musculoskeletal (MSK) experts nearby.
“Canadians are becoming more sedentary and are experiencing postural issues at an earlier age, due to the increased use of technology in both their personal and professional lives,” explains Dr. Robert David, Chair, Canadian Chiropractic Association. “What most people don’t know is that practising simple exercises daily to adjust poor posture habits is one of the best ways to reduce aches and pains.”
Musculoskeletal conditions account for one-third of missed work in Canada.
Each year, over 11 million Canadians suffer from at least one musculoskeletal condition.1 In fact, low back pain and other MSK conditions account for one-third of missed work in Canada − second only to the common cold. Many MSK problems are the product of poor posture, resulting from using poor body mechanics while engaging in everyday activities, like hunching over computers, tablets or smartphones, lifting children, slouching at a desk or even carrying heavy purses, laptop bags and groceries. Sitting for prolonged periods at work and heavy manual labour can put further strain on the body’s MSK system.
Alison Dantas, Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Chiropractic Association, explains that adopting good posture habits early on is key to minimizing and even avoiding chronic MSK pain in some cases. “As a vital part of every Canadian’s healthcare team, chiropractors are experts in musculoskeletal health and can provide people with preventative measures to promote and maintain a healthy spine. The posture exercises in the Straighten Up Canada app are not only fast and easy, they will help people of all ages prevent, and in some cases even eliminate, their habits around poor posture.”
Almost half of Canadians were afflicted by more than four MSK ailments in the last 12 months; leading symptoms are back pain, stiffness, headaches/migraines, neck and joint pain.
According to research conducted by Ipsos Reid on behalf of the CCA, 43% of Canadians have suffered from four or more MSK issues within the last year. The leading health concerns are back pain and stiffness (53 per cent), headaches and migraines (44 per cent), neck pain (35 per cent) and joint pain (35 per cent). In fact, MSK disorders account for the highest disability costs among all chronic conditions in Canada ($15 billion). 2
“The main goal of the Straighten Up Canada app is to help people become regularly aware of their posture so they can start to correct it themselves,” explains Dr. David. “Another advantage of this app is these exercises can take as little as three minutes to help you reset and become more mindful of your posture. Everyone can find three minutes in their day, and if they do, it may just help them lead a more active and healthy lifestyle resulting in a wide range of long-term health benefits.”