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Simple Exercises to Prevent Driving Pains

Incorporating flexing and stretching techniques into the driving day can help your fleet drivers steer clear of work-related pain and injuries, cutting down on worker's compensation costs and keeping them focused on a safe trip.

January 2009, by Tamara Holmes

Driving can be a pain in the back.

Confined in a fixed position for hours on end, stressed out by traffic and with the constant vibrations of wheels on the road, it's not surprising so many people get a backache or neck strain after a long drive. Now imagine being on the road for most of the day as part of your job.

Exercises and stretches can help drivers prevent some of the aches and pains that accompany all those hours behind the wheel and avoid the high costs associated with more serious health conditions that may arise.

Flex the Pain Away

Annette Stuckey, a Wichita, Kan.-based physical therapist, compiled a list of exercises that people who spend a lot of time driving can do while in their vehicles. The goal of most of the exercises is to have drivers break up the time in one position by flexing certain muscles.

Though the exercises can be done when sitting down and driving, drivers might want to try them out while waiting at stoplights or pulled off the road.

One of the first things to do is relax the muscles. A good way to do this is through deep breathing. Drivers should make sure that air is taken in through their diaphragms by breathing in and out slowly and deeply. While breathing, drivers should not be noticing much movement in their chest and neck areas, but rather in their stomach areas.

Not only does deep breathing relax the muscles, but it also slows down the entire system and can lead to reduced stress.

Most of the exercises designed to aid drivers involve the stretching or rotation of body parts. The idea is to keep the neck and back muscles from getting stiff, because stiffness can lead to pain.

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