Many people work in jobs where they drive drive all day. You might be one of those people. Maybe you work in sales and must travel to different regions of your territory. Maybe you work as a truck driver or work in delivery. In any case, you might spend the majority of your working day in your vehicle.
Driving for work does present some worrisome health risks. Apart from the risks of musculoskeletal injuries from motor vehicle accidents, driving and sitting for long periods of time can lead to chronic health problems and musculoskeletal complaints as well.
If you must drive for your job, it is hard to avoid the compressive forces you will put on your spine. Poor posture and inadequate lumbar support could exacerbate that risk. Performing regular lower back, abdominal and core strengthening exercises could help prevent lower back pain from the stress on your lumbar spine.
Tips to improve your health when you drive all day
Sitting in your car or truck for hours each day creates its own risks for poor health. Coupled with nutritional and other behavioral risks, medical problems like high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease and obesity can result.
Therefore, drivers should add at least 20 to 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise, such as walking or jogging, three days per week to their normal routines. In order to maintain an optimal body weight, regular exercise outside of their job is a must.
Try to take breaks to walk as much as possible. If you can, try breaking daily drives into shorter segments to walk around and relieve pressure on the low back. These breaks might help drivers with, or at risk for, low back pain. It also helps prevent blood from pooling in your legs.
5 ways that frequent drivers can improve their health
Standing and walking might improve your health – and your work
Stop smoking. Even if you don’t drive much, this tip is important. For frequent drivers who smoke, slowly cutting back on cigarette smoking and eventually quitting altogether, can help chronic medical conditions such as cardiovascular disease and high blood pressure.
Avoid fast food
Avoid fast food. Instead, try to choose more nutritionally balanced meals at restaurants, or pack healthy meals from home. This recommendation alone can help maintain an optimal weight and minimize high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease.
Making these few small but progressive changes in your work habits, personal exercise and nutrition help you maintain a healthier lifestyle while dealing with the demands of your job, especially when you drive all day.