“Straighten Up” is a 3 minute, easy to perform spinal health program designed to help adults and children prevent and manage spinal pain. It is a worldwide health initiative geared to improve posture, structural development and self-esteem. 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. It has been adopted by many countries such as Australia, the United States, New Zealand, Canada, Hong Kong and now Botswana.
The Straighten Up initiative is important because in this technological age, individuals are increasingly experiencing greater levels of spinal discomfort and disability related to stress and poor posture. Many people commonly work and play in cramped, awkward, or slouched postures and perform repetitive actions. The resulting pandemic of chronic spinal conditions compromises the quality of our lives. Every year spinal conditions and back pain result in the loss of billions of dollars worldwide through health care costs, diminished individual income and loss of productivity.
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 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 indicates that the spinal health of adolescent students has been decreasing over a ten-year period.