NHS Get a Helping Hand From Father and Son Pair to Cut £1.6 Billion Spend - TUTCH Designs Ltd

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With the NHS spending over £1.6 billion on back care, SHOFT is a new device to help prevent and reduce back pain that is caused as a result of driving and being seated in cars.

SHOFT Seat belt fitting

Cars are just about the worst thing for our backs.

It is estimated that four out of five adults (80%) will experience back pain at some point in their lives. In eight years, back pain has increased over 50% from 5 million working days (2003-04) lost to over 7.6 million in 2011-12.

These figures are behind the NHS spending more than £1.6 billion per year on back pain related costs. And with our poor posture in cars being identified as a major cause of back pain, SHOFT (http://www.shoft.co.uk) designed by Dr Graham Cox and his father Ronald is helping to solve a problem that nearly all of us will have to eventually deal with.

Dr Graham Cox and his father Ronald spent 4 years working from the family home in Old Basing Hampshire, creating the SHOFT device to help tackle the nation’s back pain problem.

SHOFT, a product of TUTCH Designs Ltd, the company set up by Dr Cox and his father, is able to prevent (and reduce existing) back pain whilst in vehicles. By keeping out the usual slack that creeps into our seat belts, SHOFT helps keep both driver and passengers in a healthier and potentially safer seated position.

When asked about the name SHOFT Graham revealed that it was the legendary Scottish born actor, Sean Connery who lent them a helping hand. "We wanted a name that we could make into a brand and Ronald whilst we were joking around impersonating people, did a Sean Connery and said ‘SOFT’ which came out at ‘SHOFT’. We thought it sounded good and was unusual enough."

There are a number of reasons behind the UKs back pain statistics, but as top car ergonomics expert and osteopath Bryan McIlwraith states, ‘cars are just about the worst thing for our backs’ and we’re spending more time in them than ever.

Just over 10 years ago Ron & Graham joined forces to set up their first company to manage the European business marketing and selling of the CG-Lock device, for performance drivers to be ‘at one’ with their car. Used by Ben Collins (the STIG) on Top Gear for 4 years and for the car stunts in all recent 007 Bond movies, it got father & son to learn about cars, posture and safety, adding to Graham’s physiology background.

Many back specialists including physiotherapists, chiropractors, osteopaths and acupuncturists as well as ergonomics experts and personal trainers have tested and praised the SHOFT device.

Those who undertake regular long distance journeys are set to benefit the most from SHOFT. With taxi, lorry drivers and all those that drive for a living suffering from back pain at four times the national average, it’s important for employers to take as much care as possible of their fleet driver’s backs. It is estimated that the UK economy loses £37 million per day on lost productivity due to back pain.

This August (2014), SHOFT will be launching a funding campaign through the UK’s largest crowdfunding network Crowdfunder (http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk), with the aim to take the Hampshire based family start up to the next level. The popularity of the initial SHOFT production encouraged TUTCH Designs Ltd to go down the path of crowd funding. “Our first commercial run sold out in a week,” says Dr Cox. “so we need to move to a higher production facility to meet the demand. Explaining our product and the benefits to a wide population will hopefully motivate people to pledge small donations to help fund us.”

Every donor helping to fund the company will receive one of the very first production SHOFTs as a reward for their backing. A portion of each donation made via Crowdfunder will also go towards supporting the UK charity Back Care and the children’s cancer charity Williams Fund.

For those that wish to get involved and help this invention get to market, just register at http://www.shoft.co.uk to be notified when the Crowdfunder campaign goes live.

Dr Cox has also recently released a FREE eBook highlighting top tips on how to improve the health of your back, which can be downloaded from http://bit.ly/1rKbJiL.

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Khamisi McKenzie
since: 05/2014
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