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New research released today by the British Chiropractic Association shows that, in just two years, the incidence of bad posture appears to have risen at an alarming rate.

Over half (56%) of the UK population currently believe they have a bad posture, compared to 38% in 2007, a dramatic increase of 16%.

It seems that slouching is really sweeping the nation.

Cities around the UK were quizzed about their posture and the research revealed that Belfast is bent over backwards, with the city’s residents having the worst posture in the UK.

The BCA has compiled the top ten ‘posture hotspots’ across the UK from a survey of 5000 Brits, to coincide with Chiropractic Awareness Week (13th – 19th April 2009).

And it seems that all that sea air may not be good for your health, as the top five places with the poorest posture, are all coastal cities.

The UK Posture Hotspots are:
1. Belfast
2. Plymouth
3. Cardiff
4. Southampton
5. Liverpool
6. Bristol
7. Glasgow
8. Leeds
9. Edinburgh
10. Nottingham

But posture problems are nationwide as the survey revealed that slouching starts at a young age. Around 60% of 16 to 18 year olds have an undesirable posture, but this figure jumps to a shocking 92% in some cities.

The BCA is urging the nation to take proactive steps to improve its posture, as the UK back pain figures have reached an all time high.

72% of Brits questioned said they had suffered from back pain at some point, while nearly a third of the population is currently suffering, with London having the highest incidence of back pain sufferers.

And it seems resting on our laurels could be to blame. 56% Brits slouch when they sit for long periods, and 29% (nearly a third of the population) sit down for 15 or more hours per day.

Using computers is a trigger for bad posture for 43%, while 41% say that carrying heavy bags or lugging laptops affects their stance.

Posture doesn’t just have a bearing on our health; it also affects how we are judged. 14% equate bad posture to laziness; while nearly one in five think it shows a lack of confidence.

The good news is that the nation wants to stand tall, 74% of Brits want to improve their posture, and the British Chiropractic Association is here to help.

Tim Hutchful from the British Chiropractic Association comments: “Year on year our posture seems to be getting worse and back pain figures are rising, suggesting that the two go hand in hand. With the population in an apparent sedentary lifestyle spiral, we are fast becoming a nation of slouch potatoes, and it is taking a massive toll on our health.”

“Poor posture can have health implications and we want to work towards reducing the incidence of back pain. By making just a few lifestyle changes, people can help to improve their posture, take care of their spine and help themselves look and feel their best. And the good news is, it really requires minimum of effort, just three minutes a day can make the world of difference.”

The BCA has devised a simple three minute exercise routine called Straighten Up UK. This can be incorporated into our daily lives to help strengthen the spine and improve posture. The exercise routine is available to download from www.straightenupuk.org for more information call the BCA on 0118 950 5950 or visit www.chiropractic-uk.co.uk where there is also plenty of practical advice to help avoid back problems and improve posture.
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The BCA press office can offer:
• Full statistical breakdowns per city
• Posture hotspot map of the UK
• Back pain hotspot map of the UK
• Chiropractors/spokespeople (national and regional)

Sara Bailey/Sasha Mattus/Julie Doyle
Publicasity
Tel: 020 7632 2400
Email: bca@publicasity.co.uk

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