Researchers have woken up to the fact that sleeping on your side can benefit spinal health and brain efficiency, with studies on mice proving good posture is critical to maintaining a healthy central nervous system.

The University of Virginia researchers said lymphatic vessels have been found in the central nervous system, prompting the New Zealand Chiropractors' Association (NZCA) to encourage Kiwis to focus on their spinal health

NZCA spokesman and chiropractor Dr Hayden Thomas said chiropractic care can improve overall health.

"The focus of chiropractic care is on the health and integrity of the nervous system."

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Each year, World Spine Day is observed on October 15 to ensure people think about spinal care and good habits.

"A healthy spine and nerve system are vital parts of a healthy life."

The NZCA suggest all New Zealanders follow the three-minute set of exercises put together by Straighten Up New Zealand, to improve posture, enhance health and prevent spinal disability.

* For more information, go to www.straightenup.org.nz