Straighten Up UK: Free Back Pain Exercises

Straighten Up UK Spinal Exercises
Back Pain Exercises

Straighten Up UK is a free spinal exercise and posture exercise programme initiative headed up in Great Britain by the British Chiropractic Association. The aim of the Straighten Up UK back exercises programme aim to promote spinal health and self-management tools for keeping your back healthy.

Having a better back will improve the quality of life of countless numbers of people. Movement is a basic need for optimal health. Movement is a form of medicine you can prescribe yourself. Why not read on to see how you can Straighten Up UK back pain exercises to try keep your spine healthy today. Oh and don’t worry these movements definitely do not involve someone standing on your back like the picture shows happening in Bikram yoga.

Why Exercise My Spine?

Having freedom to move without back pain and/or a limited range of motion is a freedom many people take for granted on a daily basis.

Chiropractors see people with back pain on a daily basis and are always looking to empower their Chiropractic patients through self-guided back pain exercises. The movements involved in the Straighten Up UK programme fall into that requirement.

Free Back Pain Exercise Sheet Downloads

You can download a copy of the Straighten Up UK exercise sheets in either a kids format or adults format.

Straighten Up Back Exercises for Kids

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Straighten Up Back Exercises for Adults

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The sheets are come from British Chiropractic Association.

You can also print the spinal posture programme Straighten Up’s Flying Friends/Posture Pod.

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Straighten Up UK Exercise Video

Did you enjoy seeing how to actually perform the complete Straighten Up UK back pain exercise programme? If so then read on to find out the goals and origins of the Straighten Up UK spinal exercise programme.

Goals of Straighten Up UK

Some of the goals of the Straighten Up UK back pain exercise programme are:

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

History of The Straighten Up Exercise Program

The Straighten Up UK spinal exercise programme was originally created by Dr Ron Kirk, DC, a chiropractor from the USA. Below you can read a short introduction to the original “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 practicing 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.

For more information on the origin of the Straighten Up America back pain exercise programme please visit

The Bottom Line

The Straighten Up UK programme can be of benefit to help keep your back healthy. Your body was designed to move and as we know movement can be a great pain and stress reliever so try Straighten Up today!

Remember before starting any spine exercise programme it is recommended to consult a health care professional so as you don’t hurt yourself. Enjoy moving!

Image Credit: Some rights reserved by tiarescott