When the road consumes so much of your life, every measure must be taken to make your journey a comfortable one. Avoid some of the health risks that come with sitting down for long periods of time and follow these three simple steps:
You know best how to set-up your seat, but there are a few tips to keep in mind. Make sure you have maximum vision of the road, and enough clearance space above your head. Adjust your seat cushion until you have full thigh support along the length of the seat without any pressure behind the knees, and if you can, have hips higher than your knees.
Make sure your backrest isn't reclined too far, and check if you have continuous support along the length of your back up to your shoulder blades. When turning the steering wheel, your shoulders should stay in contact with the seat – not hunched forward.
And don’t forget to be aware of your posture, keep that back straight.
Long drives should be broken up; take a break every couple of hours.
At a rest stop For every two hours of driving, give yourself a two-minute walk around followed by some stretching. Do some side-bends – hold for 30 seconds, then release and switch sides. Do each side twice. Another good exercise is a back-stretch with your arms reaching up. Hold for ten seconds, and repeat three times. You can also clasp your fingers behind your head and lean back into your palms as if you were relaxing on a hammock.
Stuck in traffic When you're stuck in traffic, do ten buttock clenches, side-bends and seat braces (pushing your hands into the steering wheel to curve your spine as you push back into the seat). Also, do shoulder shrugs, with a five-second hold each, and some shoulder circles.
Stay sharp off the road
When you're not driving, manage your downtime properly. Make sure you get regular check-ups at a physiotherapist or chiropractor, and get your vision routinely tested. Pack enough healthy food and water in your vehicle to keep you hydrated on the road, and when you're off the road, keep a healthy diet and keep an eye on your stress levels.
As a driver, you've got to take care of precious cargo, but there's nothing more precious than your own health and wellbeing, and don't you forget it.