Taking a 10 minute walking break eases driving pain

I thought it worth telling you about the findings of researches from Imperial College, Loughborough Uni and Nottingham Trent Uni who looked at the best ways to relieve pain from long periods of driving as most of us will be travelling around in our cars this summer.

We feel discomfort or pain following periods of sitting because of increased pressure on compressed body parts and decreased blood flow to parts of the body.

“In this research participants took part in a driving simulation– which included the vibration of a car on a typical urban journey – for two hours with a ten-minute break midway through.

Each participant tried each of the comfort break methods.

They provided ratings of their discomfort at regular intervals along the way.

One group just remained seated, while the others went for a ten minute stroll on a treadmill.

It was found that a stroll of ten minutes after a one hour drive prevented feeling discomfort for a further hour.

This compared to just ten minutes for those who stopped the vehicle and remained seated.

The researchers, writing in Applied Ergonomics, said that many factors contribute to discomfort during long car journeys including vibration, uncomfortable upholstery or cushions, and poor seat design.

While the benefits of breaks for tiredness and safety are well-documented, the researchers say they are also vital in terms of driver comfort.

Professor Neil Mansfield, Head of Engineering at Nottingham Trent University said: ‘Drivers should plan breaks at regular intervals in order to reduce discomfort during and at the end of their journey.’

He added: ‘When drivers stop at service stations they undertake a range of different activities. Some stay in their seats and take the opportunity to use their phones or devices, while others may choose to walk to a nearby café and sit with a coffee for a few minutes.

‘We have shown that getting out of the vehicle and taking a walk is the most effective method for relieving driver discomfort. Maybe drivers should rethink where they choose to park at service stations, as a longer walk across the car park is beneficial.’

Taking a walk is also advised for people on long flights – researchers have found this also relieves discomfort more than just sitting in your seat and eating and drinking.”

So I for one will be parking further away from the service station facilities and enjoying a walk. It sounds obvious really but I  hadn’t really thought about it before. have a great summer and safe travels.

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