Do you drive a lot for your job? Maybe you work in a sales position and drive many hours each day across your territory. Or maybe you work in a delivery field and drive a car or truck all day long. Can simple changes help all-day drivers improve their health?
Tips to help drivers improve their health
Sitting for long periods of time has been shown to carry significant health risks. If you spend much of your work day in a car or truck, you face risks of both medical and musculoskeletal issues. You might not be able to change your driving time, but a few changes could help drivers improve their health in spite of the driving.
Try to break up long drives, and get out and walk. Those short periods of muscular activity could prevent blood from pooling in your legs and relieve pressure in your lower back.
Perform regular exercises for your back.
Drivers have a high risk for back pain, likely related to sitting with inadequate lumbar support and poor posture while driving for long periods of time. Routine lower back muscular stretching and strengthening as well as abdominal and core strengthening could help withstand stress on the lumbar spine and might decrease the chance of low back pain.
People who drive as a key part of their jobs should try to obtain at least 20 to 30 minutes of cardiovascular exercise several times each week. As you develop better aerobic conditioning, you can increase training as tolerated. The exercises can help maintain optimal body weight and improve health.
Avoid fast food.
Try to find healthy food options wherever you travel. Even if much of your driving takes place on interstates and highways, try to avoid fast food restaurants, or at least choose healthy options at them. Better yet, pack healthy meals to take with you.
The suggestion applies to everyone and not just drivers. Cutting back on cigarettes and eventually giving up smoking altogether can improve chronic medical conditions like high blood pressure and heart disease.