Driving can be an aggravating thing for anyone’s body. Depending on your car, your seat, how long you’re in traffic and how long you’re driving can all affect how much strain it contributes to your body. Here’s some tips for taking care of your body while driving.
Tip 1 – Your body can tell you what it likes – so use it to set yourself up for success:
Muscles when they’re at rest feel like raw steak. When you’re sitting driving ideally your lumbar erector spinae (muscles next to spine) and upper traps (muscles on top of your shoulders) are relaxed. If they aren’t this is your body telling you it doesn’t like the position. So while it may not feel uncomfortable now, it may very well do after a few hours (or even a few minutes). We recommend feeling the muscles in your back or shoulders and playing around with adjusting seat angle, closeness to steering wheel, height of seat, amount of lumbar support (remember you can add a towel or pillow behind your back). This is genuinely how we do car setups for clients at the clinic and we find it to be highly valuable. Hands on feedback from the body is key.
2 – Regular breaks with movement
Now we all know you want to get there but if this is a well earned holiday there is no point arriving stiff and sore. All of us are different as to when we need breaks (also depends on how well setup our car seat is for us – see Tip 1) and often figures are 2 hours for people who are doing quite well or 30-45min for people who get aggravated. Again this will depend on you! We recommend getting out of the car and doing some gentle movements. An example would be gently bend forward, back, side and the other side, and then some single leg mini squats.
If you would like your car setup by one of our physios let us know! You can always chat about taking care of your body while driving with your Physio next time you’re in. Book online or call 1300 842 850.