Driving – many of us do it, but we often forget the impact that our drive to work can
have on our bodies. I spend a lot of time driving due to my mobile business. And
while driving, I often forget to pay attention to my posture (I know, I’m a massage
therapist, I should know better, but hey, I’m human). This poor posture often causes
me to feel discomfort in my shoulders. And that discomfort is increased when you
have to spend time stuck in traffic, which is what I have to do due to the
Metro bus roadwork in Bristol.
So, what can you do to stop pain while driving? Well, this is what I will be talking to
you about today.
What effect does your drive to work have on your body?
You’ll be surprised to know that driving doesn’t only affect your physical health, but it
also affects your psychological health.
Back pain – studies have shown that driving can cause lower back pain. This
is believed to be caused by bad posture and seat position.
Shoulder and neck pain – studies have shown that you can feel neck and
shoulder pain while driving. Again, poor posture is believed to cause this
Knee pain – a study that looked at the driving questionnaires filled by 1242
taxi drivers found that driving caused the taxi drivers to suffer knee pain.
Increased anxiety – driving (or commuting to work) can have a negative effect
on your psychological health. A 2014 Office for National Statistics report found
that people who commute more than thirty minutes to work suffered from
increased anxiety, lower happiness levels, and depression risk were higher
than those who didn’t have to commute to work.
Increased blood pressure – it has been claimed that driving can increase your
blood pressure, which is believed to be due to the increased levels of stress
that you can feel while driving. A study has found that the longer a person’s
commute to work is than the higher their blood pressure.
Sleep issues – a report has found that those who commute to work for longer
than forty-five minutes (each way) have a lower quality of sleep than those
with a shorter travel time.
As you can see, driving can have a negative effect on our bodies and minds.
However, you can combat these effects. And this is what I will be talking to you
What to do before your drive to work?
There are things you can do before you drive to work to limit pain while driving
(physical and mental).
Exercise – the exercise to do before you get into your car is called a Forward
Bend. The Forward Bend is a yoga pose that gives an intense stretch of the
back and hamstring muscles, which would help with any previous back pain.
Also, this pose is believed to relieve stress and depression. You can do the
Forward Bend while standing or sitting. This YouTube video shows you how
to do the Forward Bend.
Adjust your seat – a poorly adjusted seat can be why you feel pain while
driving. This website shows you the correct position your car seat needs to be
in. As well as your car seat, you need to make sure that your steering wheel is
at a proper height.<