Is Your Commute a Pain in The Neck?
Being busy can be great, especially when you're doing something you're passionate about. But it can take a toll on the human body. Between the house, career and kids, it is easy to ignore your health and unknowingly place your body at risk. In no time at all, you will forget to eat, rest and exercise; everything that's important to better mental and physical health. When fully engrossed in an activity, it's easy to forget when joints and muscles are in pain. Commuting to and from the workplace is a good example. People today are commuting further than ever whether it's by car, train or tube. Studies indicate that if you commute or drive more than four hours a day, you are six times more likely to take sick days for back-related injuries or pain. You're also more likely to have recurring issues with neck and back pain, fatigue and stress. In fact, driving with a poor posture can place stress on your back that is equal to carrying a 40-pound pack.
Studies indicate that if you commute or drive more than four hours a day, you are six times more likely to take sick days for back-related injuries or pain. You're also more likely to have recurring issues with neck and back pain, fatigue and stress. In fact, driving with a poor posture can place stress on your back that is equal to carrying a 40-pound pack.
If you're need of an ache-free ride, see if the following tips help you obtain a more relaxed daily commute:
• Try lumbar support in the form of a cushion or pillow. Public transports seats can be very unforgiving and inflexible. In a pinch, try rolling up a towel about the thickness of your forearm and placing it in the small of your back.
• Most tension is held in the neck and upper shoulders. When you consider most people sit in front of a screen throughout the work day, it's easy to see why a stressful, long commute might add to it. While sitting in traffic or at a stoplight, do a few shoulder shrugs and rolls.
• Instead of craning your head forward over the steering wheel, loosen up a bit by using the headrest and adjust it before your next commute.
• On the next train or underground commute, practice "sensory meditation." Close your eyes and feel the motion of the train or bus and relax to its rocking. Take a few deep, slow breaths.
• Take a few minutes before the commute to stretch. Try touching your toes. Eliminate the stiffness you feel in your legs and torso.
• Always be sure to leave a little early. This will cut down on the stress and tension of dealing with possible delays.
• Take some time the night before to get ready for the next morning. To reduce stress, make your lunch the night before. Lay out your clothes the night before, so you don't have to take the time to rush around trying to decide what you'll wear.
If you practice these tips on your long commute, your body and mind will thank you for it.