Disclaimer: Always prioritize the safety of the road and follow all local laws related to driving. These exercises are intended to be performed prior to driving as well as at the conclusion of a trip, not while the car is on, in motion, or in traffic.
Do you commute by car?
Then chances are you are doing your body some harm.
In working with clients who commute by car, we always ensure a bit of extra prep work based on the crushing effects of sitting in a vehicle, such as tight hip flexors, rounded forward shoulders, low backs, and neck stress.
Any trip over 45 minutes should warrant a break, if possible, to get your body moving and healthy.
The one piece of advice I have to encourage while you drive is to set your seat up in an ergonomically ideal position (rule of 90s – 90 degrees at your non driving knee, 90 degrees at your hip/torso angle); this should allow for the freedom to maximize safety as a driver but minimize the forward head posture that many of us fall into when driving. Remember that head rest piece on your chair can be used as a piece of feedback to facilitate improved posture.
Bad car posture:
Good car posture:
Here are a few basic stretches you can perform to minimize the negative effects of driving a car.
1. Open up your shoulders and get your head through to get that blood flowing and stretch out your spine and shoulders
2. To undo some of that forward head posture and rounded forward shoulders, open them up with this stretch for the chest and fronts of shoulders.
3. Rotate to the side with this arm stretch by giving yourself a big half hug!
4. Rotate the other way to open up that tight shoulder and get a little spine twist for a bonus stretch.