October 16 marks World Spine Day – a day when we recognize the incredible power of the spine. Your spine is important. It’s what connects your arms, legs and head to the rest of your body. So, it’s important to keep it healthy.

With so many people living increasingly sedentary lifestyles – at their jobs, at school and at home – we’re seeing postural issues developing earlier in life, especially with growing reliance on technology.

Many spine problems are the result of poor posture stemming from poor body mechanics. Day-to-day, Albertans are glued to televisions and computers, hunched over books and desks, or are required to perform tasks that require a lot of bending forward and lifting. We don’t realize what happens to our posture while we do these tasks—until our backs and other body parts start to hurt. The pain indicates poor posture is taking its toll on our spine and overall health.

Introducing a daily stretching program to develop and maintain a healthy spine is important for everyone. Now, of course it’s easier to pick up your phone or tablet and spend your time texting, surfing or connecting with friends. But we know that daily exercise can have tremendous benefits for our hearts, lungs, brains and mental wellbeing.

A public education program from Alberta’s chiropractors, Straighten Up Alberta is a perfect way to introduce just a few minutes of stretching into your regular activities.

The Straighten Up program can be used by almost anyone in any setting to strengthen posture to improve spinal health. More details can be found atwww.straightenupalberta.com.

In addition to the website, a new free app is being launched by Canada’s chiropractors to celebrate this year’s World Spine Day. The Straighten Up app encourages users to track their progress and report on it through social media. The app is available free of charge through the Apple App store and the Google Play store.

When you lead a healthier, more active lifestyle, you actually enhance your ability to achieve, perform and feel better about yourself physically, mentally and emotionally. And who doesn’t want to feel better, move better or live better?