This ‘Mobility Month’, as Australians approach the one-year anniversary of the ‘new normal’, we are urging locals to assess their spinal health and mobility with a simple four stage test.
Dr Anthony Coxon, leading chiropractor and President of the Australian Chiropractors Association (ACA) says: “Over the past 12 months, myself and other chiropractors across the country have seen a worrying increase in patients who are reporting back and neck pain caused by changes in their lifestyle like working from home and not being able to exercise. So, we want to encourage everyone to proactively check their mobility and protect their health and wellbeing.”
When a third of the Australian workforce suddenly found themselves working from home, 40% of people admitted to suffering from back pain, a third from neck pain (39.8%) and shoulder pain (34.4%).
“Other chiropractors and I are concerned by the high incidence of injury we are seeing in young, otherwise healthy people. We know that physical pain can have detrimental impacts on mental health and quality of life, and it is vital that people take action before their pain progresses.”
According to research, a third of people living with pain, such as neck and back pain, admit to having reduced movement and mobility (32.6%) which has significant impact on their quality of life, with one in ten admitting they can’t play with their children (11.5%) and it impacts their intimate relationships (11.8%).
But mobility issues can go much further than spinal pain and can often indicate an array of significantly more serious health issues. Research shows that those with a sedentary lifestyle and posture related pain double their risk of cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, and obesity, and increase the risks of colon cancer, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, lipid disorders, depression and anxiety.
With statistics like these, it is important you are staying on top of your mobility and monitor any changes in your strength, balance and flexibility. This Mobility Month, try out these four simple exercises to discover how ‘mobile’ you are:
- Neck Rotation: testing how far and evenly you can turn your neck on each side.
- Sitting down, keep your shoulders still and against a chair.
- Turn your head all the way to the left as if you were looking over your shoulder. How far around did you get?
- Repeat on the right. Was it even? Was it comfortable?
- Trunk Side Bend: testing how far you can run your hand down each side of your body.
- Stand with your feet comfortably apart.
- Run a hand down the side of your leg so you side bend without leaning backwards or forwards.
- Repeat on the other side. Was it even and was it comfortable to do?
- Sit-to-Stand: testing the ease at which you can rise from your chair with crossed arms.
- Sit in the middle of your chair. Cross your arms over your chest.
- Keeping your back straight and arms across your chest…
- Stand straight up and then sit back down. Did you do this easily or was it hard?
- Single Leg Stance: testing how well you balance on each leg.
- In a safe environment free of trip hazards, stand upright with feet together and place hands on hips.
- Lift one foot off the ground. Do not allow your legs to touch. Time how long you can stand without moving.
- Repeat on opposite side. Are you able to stand on each leg for at least 40 seconds? (If under 60 years)
How was your flexibility, strength and balance? If you find that you are struggling with one of the exercises, not to worry. The Health Hub Chiro is here to help. Ask us about getting more mobile this March by contacting us via reception on 6622 0218 or our email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on Mobility Month, and to watch the test in action, visit mobilitymonth.org.au