Living here on Anglesey, we can all spend a lot of time on the A55 - even a trip to the nearest supermarket can result in a 40 mile round trip! Many of my patients are having to do a long commute to work on a daily basis, or head out of North Wales a couple of times a week for meetings or work elsewhere. I spend quite a lot of time on the road too; I have to attend BCA meetings in Reading or London and in my spare time enjoy catching up with friends and family - usually involving a trip down to Oxfordshire.
All this driving and commuting can take its toll. A recent survey conducted by Evian found that of the 2000 commuters questioned 1 in 9 felt miserable because of the journey, 1 in 3 were bored with their commute and 1 in 6 arrived at working already exhausted and wanting to go back to bed!
However, it's not just our minds (and souls!) that suffer; sitting puts twice as much pressure through the spine as standing up, and when we're in a car seat we really can't wriggle around. Minimise the detrimental effect by ensuring that your car seat is set up for you to make you comfortable - adjust your steering wheel and seat so that your arms are relaxed and not reaching too far. Tilt your car seat so that your knees are slightly lower than your hips as this can help to ease the pressure in your low back, and adjust the seat back so it is comfortable. Most importantly, take regular breaks! Plan your journey to fill up with fuel half-way on a trip, stop and have a brief walk for a minute or so every hour, and on arrival, park further away than usual so you can have a quick walk to stretch your legs.
The same goes for trains - if you get a seat, stand up and wriggle around regularly, make sure that you're sitting correctly with your bottom against the seat back and your shoulder blades touching the seat behind you. If you're doing some work, try to adjust your position so that you're not slouching or leaning too far forwards with your head unsupported. Get up and move about regularly.
If you have to stand, spread your weight evenly between both feet, keep your knees soft and your feet firmly 'planted' to help you balance, and make sure you don't over-reach for the grab rails.
At the end of the day, our bodies are designed to be moving around and walking. This will help to improve muscle tone, circulation and posture - and will minimise the aches and pains. So make the most of every opportunity you have to move - your body will thank you for it!
Eich Ceiropractydd yng Nghlinig Ceiropracteg Llangefnii