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IMU World Spine Day Activities Win First Prize

14 Jan 2021

The IMU Chiropractic Team started the year with the good news of having won the First Prize under the Educational Institution Category for events conducted to mark the World Spine Day 2020, an annual event organised by the World Federation of Chiropractic. This year’s theme was “Back on Track”, recognising the impact of a lockdown on the musculoskeletal system.

As mentioned in the World Federation of Chiropractic’s Quarterly World Report, the judges were particularly impressed by the depth of participation and the range of activities taking place over a 10 day period, each of which engaged the public and encouraged people to get “Back on Track”. It was clear that IMU was undeterred by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and threw everything it had in making the 2020 World Spine Day a successful event. Planned activities were well suited to participants of all ages and the quality of the graphics and videos was very impressive. IMU put together a range of engaging challenges and showed great initiative by recruiting supports and prizes. A focus on education with webinars rounded of this tremendous campaign.

Semester 5 Chiropractic students, Pang Wei En, Alicia Tan Yu Tian, Andrea Leong Wan Yee and Semester 3 Chiropractic student, Goh Hui Yee shares more on the activities of World Spine Day 2020. World Spine Day (WSD) is an event that takes place on 16 October every year and is well celebrated in numerous countries. World Spine Day was launched back in 2012 by the World Federation of Chiropractic, with the aim of mainly educating the public about the importance of spinal health and ways to improve spinal health. According to the World Federation of Chiropractic, the goal of this year’s World Spine Day is to inform, educate and inspire people of all ages to prevent spine pain and disability by taking good care of themselves. The message and theme this year is “Back on Track” which is the theme of World Spine Day 2020. In conjunction with World Spine Day 2020, IMU’s Chiropractic students were honoured to host the WSD 2020 event in our community that lasted from 1 October 2020 till 25 October 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic has affected nearly all of the population in this world with most countries initiating lockdowns to prevent the virus from spreading. With lockdowns that lasted for almost a year, it is not surprising to hear that many people have been living a sedentary lifestyle in the comfort of their own homes. Thus, the theme for World Spine Day 2020 is “BACK ON TRACK”. The goal is to encourage the public to get back on track to help restore their spinal health, which may have deteriorated after a long period of inactivity. Led by IMU lecturers, namely Dr Kamal Hasmukhlal Budhia Parbhoo and Dr Zia Ul-Mustafa Rehman, students of the Chiropractic programme from the Centre for Complementary and Alternative Medicine have come together and formed a committee to promote the theme of World Spine Day 2020.

Not discouraged by the pandemic lockdown, the IMU World Spine Day 2020 committee held all the events virtually this year. The committee held various events such as a fitness challenge, an individual and family yoga challenge, live and pre-recorded webinars and daily educational videos for the World Spine Day 2020 event. The purpose of these events and challenges is to promote spinal health awareness, encourage the public to stay active during the pandemic, and to promote chiropractic to the public. With the power of social media and the advancement of technology, the events were held successfully on platforms such as YouTube, Zoom, Instagram, and Facebook.

With the pandemic going on, this year the committees decided to go with the flow and try out something that has never been done, which is to record and upload daily educational videos on our social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram page. The purpose of daily educational videos is to educate the public about the importance and ways of staying active during the pandemic.

We came up with various videos guiding the public about stretching or strengthening different areas of the body, such as the spine, core, and extremities. On top of that, we also tried out something new which is an acapella, as part of the World Spine Day introductory video. The acapella was done using adjustments cavitation sound and fine-tuned into a song. Other videos such as live and pre-recorded webinars, sharing about chiropractic treatment, warm-up and cool-down exercises, a video to showcase the committee, and a closing ceremony recording was also uploaded on our social media platform. Overall, the daily educational videos managed to serve their purpose well as we have received many feedbacks stating that the community has gained beneficial knowledge from our sharing.

Fitness Challenge
The fitness challenge is one of the IMU World Spine Day’s traditions – it is held on campus every year in conjunction with IMU Cup and IMU World Spine Day. We wanted to maintain the event despite being in a pandemic, hence we came up with the idea of making the event online. The purpose of this challenge is to encourage the public to get back on track. It is a challenge for those who are already physically active, and at the same time, it is a chance for those who were inactive to start their workout routine. In total, we had 27 participants who participated in the fitness challenge. After registering through Google forms, each participant is required to record a video of themselves performing exercises such as high knees, squat jump, plank jack, Spiderman plank, up & down plank, and burpees in one take with the timer included in the video. All participants are required to wear proper sports attire. The participants are then required to upload the videos to their Facebook and Instagram account, and hashtag #imuwsd2020fc. The participants were judged based on their body form and the time taken to perform all the exercises. The committee also implemented a penalty system for reduced repetitions or poor body form.

Yoga Challenge This year, we came up with a new event, Yoga Challenge. The challenge is separated into two categories, which are the individual yoga challenge and the family yoga challenge. It took place from 9 October 2020 until 23 October 2020. The main purpose of this event is to educate the public on the importance of stretching and flexibility in preventing injuries. On top of that, the reason for conducting a family category yoga challenge is to help people enhance the family bond through exercises during the pandemic lockdown. Two is always better than one!

After registering through Google forms, participants are required to capture a photo of them performing a yoga pose by themselves in the individual category, or with a family member in the family category, then post it on their Instagram and Facebook account, and hashtag #imuwsd2020iyc for the individual category or #imuwsd2020fyc for family category. Participants with the best yoga pose will be selected as the winner! To encourage everyone who participated, all participants will receive a virtual Certificate of Participation. In total, 24 teams participated in the family yoga challenge and 43 participants took part in the individual yoga challenge. Our committee was honoured to have Mrs Ng Siew Boon, a certified yoga instructor who received Yoga Teacher’s Training Course at Sivananda, India as the judge where participants are evaluated according to strength, flexibility, and balance. Webinars Every year, the World Spine Day committees had to host and travel to various places to deliver a talk. This year, we had the chance to host webinars that are not only hassle-free but more importantly, the webinars can be shared and this knowledge would be available to everyone with internet connectivity at no cost! We were lucky enough to have 4 chiropractors as our speakers for the webinars. We have Dr Angus and Dr Eric as the speaker of 2 live webinars on Zoom, we also have Dr Andre and Dr Elaine as the speaker of 2 pre-recorded webinars which have been uploaded on our YouTube channel. The live webinars were recorded and uploaded on Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube channel for future references at any time. The main purpose of holding the webinars is to promote spinal health awareness and also to share about chiropractic with more people. Overall, we managed to achieve our goals and have received positive feedback from the public where many stated that the information provided did help them a lot.

Closing Ceremony
25 October 2020, marks the last day of IMU World Spine Day 2020. We hosted a closing ceremony via Zoom. There were around 50 people who participated in the ceremony. The event starts with the emcee summarizing all events that took place from 1 October till 25 October. The Board of Advisors and President of IMU World Spine Day 2020 were invited to give a speech. Soon after, the winners of the Fitness Challenge, Individual and Family Yoga Challenge were announced. Last but not least, we had the lucky draw session as the last programme of the day. Lucky Draw was one of our strategies to encourage the public to participate in the challenges. Every participant is entitled to one lucky draw for each challenge that they participate in, which entitles each person to 3 lucky draw chances if they participated in all three challenges. On top of participating in the challenges, every participant will have to like, follow and subscribe to IMU World Spine Day 2020 social media platform, share the posters to their Facebook and Instagram account, then tag us along with 3 friends to be eligible for the lucky draw. The prize for the lucky draw is an 8th generation iPad. The lucky draw winner was chosen randomly using a computer-generated system. The process of generating the lucky draw winner was streamed live on Zoom during the closing ceremony. The closing ceremony came to end after 30 minutes.

Throughout IMU’s World Spine Day 2020 event, several online platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, WhatsApp, YouTube, and Zoom were used to promote or upload the contents of World Spine Day 2020. We created a new YouTube Channel for World Spine Day 2020 to upload daily educational videos and webinars. The channel had gained 100 subscribers in a month and accumulated a total of more than 2300 views. We also created a Facebook page and Instagram page for the IMU World Spine Day 2020 event and it has hit 110 likes and 360 followers respectively. Daily educational videos were uploaded on our Instagram and Facebook page too. Zoom was used to hold live webinar sessions for Dr Angus and Dr Eric. Meanwhile, WhatsApp was used to blast or promote the event to our family and friends. Overall, it was a success trying out a new mode of celebrating World Spine Day. In conclusion, we have received many positive feedbacks not just from lecturers, staff, and students of IMU, but also from our family members, friends, and outsiders. The team of committee managed to achieve the target of promoting spinal health awareness, encourage the public to stay active during the pandemic and promote chiropractic to the public. During the event, the committee also learned to work as a team through virtual communication despite staying at home due to the pandemic. At last, the committee would like to thank all the sponsors, advisors, and participants for their contribution in making this event successful. A big congratulation to the IMU World Spine Day team 2020 for winning first place in the educational institutional category in the World Federation of Chiropractic World Spine Day! We’d like to thank everybody for your support and participation! Not to mention the hard work our committee members and mentors have put in to make this achievement possible thank you and we hope to keep up the good effort.

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