Healthy spine tips for Chiropractic Awareness Week

April 13-19th marks Chiropractic Awareness Week 2015. This year, chiropractors throughout the UK are encouraging people to take regular breaks at work to help combat back and neck pain. The advice comes as new research from back and spinal care experts finds that of those who have suffered from back and neck pain, working is stated as the main cause for almost one in four (24%) people in the South West.

So what can you do when in the office to look after your spine?

Sit up straight: Relax when sitting into your seat, making sure you have your bottom against the seat back so that your lower back is properly supported. Keep arms by the side of your body so that the arm forms an L-shape at the elbow joint. Make sure your feet rest flat on the floor (you may need a foot rest) and try not to cross your legs as this can cause posture related problems.

Take regular breaks: Even if it's just to walk to the staffroom and back... get up to make tea for everyone in the office - you'll be so popular! Aim to not sit for more than 20-30 minutes at a time – stand up to stretch, change position and walk around a little.

Make adjustments: When sitting at your desk, your screen should be directly in front of you. A good guide is to place the monitor about an arm's length away, with the top of the screen roughly at eye level. To achieve this you may need to get a stand for your monitor. If the screen is too high or too low, you'll have to bend your neck, which can be uncomfortable.

For more information on how to maintain a healthy posture and help keep neck and back pain at bay, the British Chiropractic Association has developed 'Straighten Up' – a simple, three minute exercise programme for all ages, designed to help strengthen the spine and improve posture and help joints. To watch a video of the exercises you can do, please visit: www.chiropractic-uk.co.uk and search for Straighten Up UK.

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Ryan Grimshaw

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