Public Health Initiatives
Straighten Up is a public health campaign initiated by the chiropractic profession to improve posture and empower people towards better spinal health. Launched in the United States, Straighten Up has been adopted by chiropractic associations around the world. Taking just 3 minutes to complete, Straighten Up can make a big difference in improving the posture of both adults and children.
Consisting of a set of simple exercises and taking just minutes to complete, Straighten Up helps to improve posture, stabilise core muscle groups, enhance health and prevent spinal disability. It’s easy and fun and can be undertaken as a regular daily exercise activity.
A study undertaken by the British Chiropractic Association reported over 80% improvement in the posture of participants, ranging in age from teens to those in their eighties, after adopting the routine daily over a 5 week period. 78% reported that they had strengthened their core muscles. 80% reported that they felt that they were sitting and standing more upright and that their backs felt more comfortable.
To find out how you can Straighten Up see this video produced by the British Chiropractic Association.
Just Start Walking
The Just Start Walking campaign was developed to counter the hours of immobility experienced by people from sitting at a desk, in classes, in meetings and at computer screens.
The brainchild of chiropractor and public health Masters graduate Dr John Hyland, Just Start Walking was designed to help combat back pain arising from lack of exercise, inactivity and obesity.
Many global health leaders are excited about Just Start Walking. Scott Haldeman, DC, PhD, MD, an ambassador for the Bone and Joint Decade, calls Just Start Walking “a great program.”
Grace Lo Yuen Fong, RN, MPH, manager of the Community Health and Social Services Unit of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, states, “Somehow, when I was reading it, it seemed to say to me, ‘Come on, walking is easy. You should do it more regularly to take care of your own health.’ The point is one can start today, now, without too much planning or preparation.”
And according to Jose Martines, MD, PhD, coordinator of the Children’s Health and Development Cluster of the WHO, “Just Start Walking is a valuable initiative and I like the stepwise approach taken. I also like the [concept] of integrating the exercise into other daily activities and the promotion of practices that have benefits for mental health.”
Just Start Walking may be translated and adapted as necessary to fit local/state/national cultural contexts. The program is cost-free and without copyright. For more information on the program, go to www.life.edu and click on the Community link; www.wfc.org (click on the Projects link); or www.cocsa.org.
The Chiropractic Association of Australia has even developed an App for the Just Start Walking programme. For more information, visit www.juststartwalking.com.
WFC’s Anti-tobacco Campaign — Chiropractors Against Tobacco (CAT) — and the Role of You and Your Association
At the WFC’s Assembly in Orlando, Florida, April 29-30, 2003, the membership reviewed and approved the WFC’s proposed Chiropractors Against Tobacco Campaign (CAT campaign) and:
- Passed two resolutions, the first supporting the Tobacco-Free Initiative of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the second encouraging all chiropractors and their associations to participate in the CAT campaign by taking recommended action steps with patients and in their own lives.
- Endorsed the following documents:
- Explains why the CAT campaign is important, both as a public health issue and for you as a practising chiropractor and the chiropractic profession.
- Recommends practical steps to be taken by you in your practice — including 3 questions to be asked in new patient histories.
- Gives the best web sites for further information.
b. Patient brochure. Titled You, Your Family, Your Health, this gives valuable advice about tobacco use, quitting and the health hazards of second-hand smoke.
c. Anti-smoking posters. There are three posters. The first two feature different versions of a child and has a second-hand smoke message (soft tone) – Child 1, Child 2. The Third poster features a bullet/cigarette (a harder message). Take your choice and download.
All these posters are available in the WFC’s three official languages of English, French and Spanish. Member associations can also obtain posters with their own logo and language(s) — see below.
The WFC wishes to acknowledge and thank Life University and Palmer University and the members of the WFC’s Public Health Committee for their assistance in the development of the above material.
Why should chiropractors be involved in this?
There are several good reasons why the WFC and the chiropractic profession should support WHO on this important public health issue. These include:
- Public health importance. Tobacco use is the largest cause of avoidable morbidity and mortality and many people are not aware of the dangers of second-hand smoke.
- Congruency with chiropractic principles. This is a natural public health issue for chiropractors given chiropractic principles which include drug-free approach to life and health promotion.
- Significance for chiropractic patients. Apart from general health issues, there is a documented relationship between smoking and low-back pain, and children consistently exposed to second-hand smoke are 50% more likely to suffer lung injury and encounter breathing problems such as asthma.
- Duty as primary health care practitioners. Primary health care practitioners have a duty to alert patients to major public health concerns relevant to them and their families.
- Enhancing doctor/patient relationship. Concern about tobacco use will enhance patient care and trust because tobacco use is not directly related to a chiropractor’s professional interest and has a direct impact on the health of patients and their families.
Anyone reading this is encouraged to download and use the brochures and posters, and visit the web sites given.
Action steps by member associations
The WFC will send member associations sample posters upon request, and with the generous support of Palmer University can arrange for you to receive final camera-ready artwork for posters carrying your own logo and with your own language(s) if that is what you would like. The WFC invites member associations to take these steps:
- Forward this notice to your members. Please forward this notice to your members with the recommendation that they review the WFC’s web site materials and take steps in their offices to participate in this public health campaign. At the same time, please copy the WFC with that communication.
- Order additional posters. The posters, as you will see, carries the logos of Palmer University and the WFC. The following are your options should you wish to have a supply of posters for use by your association and members in chiropractors’ offices and/or other work sites, schools, public libraries, etc:
- Ordering posters as presently printed. For associations with less than 10 members, up to 20 posters are available without charge. For larger orders and all other associations, posters are available at actual cost of airmail postage (in a cardboard tube). Just:
- E-mail your order, with VISA or MasterCard credit card details (number, expiry date and name).
- For any charges over US$20 you will be advised of the proposed charge and given an opportunity to confirm your order before the credit card is billed.
- If you wish to have delivery other than by airmail, please advise.
- Posters with your language(s) and/or logo. All posters will carry the WFC logo, but Palmer University has generously agreed to amend the artwork to replace its logo with the logo of your association. If requested and if supplied with an appropriate computer file. Further, on the child/second hand smoke poster which has text, that text can be replaced with your language or languages should you prefer. You will then be provided, at no cost, with a final computer file with the amended artwork. Posters would then be printed by you in your country at your cost. If you choose this option:
- Please choose which poster or posters your association wishes to use.
- The WFC will then forward this computer file to Palmer University, then later forward you the amended computer file when this is received from Palmer.
- Pass policy on tobacco. The WFC encourages all its member associations to pass a policy on tobacco in similar terms to that adopted at the WFC’s 7th Biennial Assembly in Orlando. Just replace the name of the WFC with the name of your association. That policy can be viewed by clicking here.