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World Spine Day Celebrations at IMU: Your Back In Action

22 Jan 2018

27 – 28 September 2017 – Every year on 16 October, people from around the world would join together on World Spine Day to raise awareness about spinal disorders as part of the Bone and Joint Decade’s Action Week. As per previous years, IMU is also involved in this year’s celebrations – another celebration of World Spine Day at IMU! This year the University’s World Spine Day (WSD) celebrations came early – on 27 and 28 September 2017. To mark World Spine Day this year, the IMU World Spine Day Committees plan special events around the theme of “Your Back in Action” to raise awareness of good spinal health. Semester 3 and Semester 4 chiropractic students formed an organising team and started their preparations around May. The process includes fundraising activities in the campus and promotion of IMU World Spine Day on social media. The Decoration Team of IMU WSD came up with colourful designs for T-Shirt sales this year and successfully captured the hearts of IMU students, IMU Staff and external parties around the community nearby. Social Media such as Facebook has an increment of 20% of followers likes compared to the previous year, while Instagram has more than 120 followers. This is a result of the committees constantly updating important information around the theme of “Your Back in Action” to raise awareness via social media. There was emphasis on exercise and workout “Do’s and Don’ts” to make sure that the audience is exposed to the correct posture and prevent themselves from injuries.

IMU WSD 2017 celebrations kick-started with a spinal health event at International Medical College (IMC) as early as the beginning of August. At the event, we aimed to ensure that  participants of the event are aware of the importance of spinal health maintenance especially workplace ergonomics. These participants are mostly nursing students and staff at IMC. We started the event, with a Kahoot session as a channel to share information on the chiropractic profession, proper posture and awareness on spinal disorders.

A talk on posture was also delivered by Tay Pei Shen from IMU Bukit Jalil Campus. Last but not least, a spinal screening was conducted on the students. There were also other talks, fun activities such as aerobics and free spinal screenings, for all students and staff who participated. To build up the atmosphere of IMU WSD, we held a Fitness Challenge Competition in conjunction with IMU Cup 2017 two days before our main event day. The Challenge was held for three days (25, 26 and 27 September 2017). The aim of this event is to encourage our community to practice an active and healthy lifestyle in their daily lives and maintain good fitness level. This competition was designed by the Game Master, Hee Bee Wee to test out the fitness level of our participants. He explained that he aimed to improve IMU students and staff’s overall fitness by implementing difficult level routines in the challenge. The response for the competition was overwhelming with over 456 participants who are IMU students from different sport houses or staff competing in this competition. Demonstration videos for both male and female were available on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram to ensure that participants are exposed to the correct postures for each one of the exercises to avoid any injuries during the competition.

We interviewed a participant, Daniel Chia Cheong Yong, from Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery Programme in IMU, and he explained that it was indeed a challenge for him even though he always exercises throughout the week and the challenge had motivated him to work more on his lower body muscles.

The other event, the Powerlifting competition, also in conjunction with IMU Cup, was held on 26 and 27 September. Powerlifting mostly covers the strength aspect of an athlete and consists of three attempts at maximal weight on three lifts: squat, bench press, and deadlift. Finally, the main event at IMU was held on 27 and 28 September 2017 and everyone was welcomed to take part in the activities. For this occasion, our Decoration Team came up with a giant 10 metre long full spine hung vertically at the University’s Atrium, Vertebrae String Arts, and DIY WSD’17 wording as the main decoration for this celebration. A few booths such as Instagram booth for Creative Photo Challenge, Force Plate Thrust competition, Fukuda Booth and a booth for Association of Chiropractic, Malaysia are set up for further understanding of spinal health via games and spinal screening. Association of Chiropractic Malaysia had a booth during this event with the aim of raising awareness in leading a healthy and active lifestyle and  introducing the Chiropractic profession to many others. Free spinal screening services were provided during the main event and open to all students, staff, and any participants. Our chiropractic students from Semester 2 and above performed postural analysis and GALS. The patient would then proceed to the consultation table for evaluation and received advice from our Semester 7 and 8 Chiropractic final year students who are currently in clinical internship year at IMU Chiropractic Clinics. This spinal screening successfully raise awareness among the public about their own neuromusculoskeletal conditions. To make the event more delightful and lively, we have invited Waka Waka Gelato to our campus during WSD. They sold homemade fresh gelato using fresh milk with its overall fat content reduced.  Milk was used as it helps strengthen our bone and bone growth. They also sponsored prizes for our champions of the  Fitness Challenge and Powerlifting with free Gelato.

Last but not least, a prize-giving ceremony was presented to all winners of the competitions throughout the WSD celebrations. These competitions include the ‘Thrusting Competition’, the ‘Hand-Grip Challenge’ and the Instagram Creative photo challenge competition. Soon after, a yoga session was held to provide this year’s celebration with a harmonious ending.

In short, WSD 2017 is a great success. Many thanks to all students and staff who were involved either directly in the planning of the event or indirectly by participating in the organised events.

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