On average we spend about a year of our lives getting to and from the office; so it is important to reduce the stress on our back and neck during our commute to work. Here are some suggestions from your chiropractor at West Hampstead Chiropractic Clinic.
If You Are Driving:
It is important to sit with the knees level with the hips, and always remove your wallet from your back pocket before sitting. You can also decrease the vibration from the road, by adding a wedge to the seat.
Adjust the back of your seat slightly backwards; place your hands naturally on the steering wheel, with your elbow at a relaxed angle, with just a slight bend in the arms. This will help reduce neck and shoulder tension. Also adjust your headrest so it rests in the middle of your head, and your lumbar support should provide an even back support. You can add a lumbar roll, if your car lacks sufficient lumbar support.
You should adjust your seat, so you are able to press the pedals to the floor by mainly moving your ankles and only using your legs a little. Avoid wearing high heels, or very thick-soled shoes, as you will have to over extend the ankle in order to put pressure on the pedals. Over extending the ankles on a regular basis may well lead to calf and ankle discomfort.
Also, after you have adjusted your seat, make sure there is at least a ten inch distance between yourself and the airbag cover in your steering wheel.
When commuting, make sure you leave enough time for your journey so you do not become over stressed, because nothing leads to muscle tension like stress does. Remind yourself to relax your shoulders and try to catch yourself holding your shoulders up and drop them.
If you have a long journey ahead, make sure you stop as often as possible and walk for a bit.
If You Are Using Public Transport:
Most of us hope to get a seat, when we are commuting, however standing after a long day of sitting behind a desk can even be beneficial for us. make sure you wear comfortable shoes, and stand with your feet shoulder width apart.
If you are sitting, make sure your buttocks are against the back of the seat, your shoulder blades are resting on the back of the chair, and your shoulders are relaxed. Avoid leaning to one side or the other.
There are many heath benefits in walking, and one of the easiest ways of incorporating this into our lives, is to walk for at least part of our journey to work, ways of doing this include getting off the bus or tube a stop or two early.
Avoid looking down on your phone or iPad for prolonged periods of time. This position puts a great deal of stress on our necks and upper backs.
It is best to use rucksack, carry it on both shoulders and adjust the straps so that the bag is held close to your back.
If you have to use a single strap bag, use a bag with a long strap, with the strap over one shoulder and if you are carrying a brief case too this should obviously be on the opposite side to your bag.
Check the contents of your bag and only carry those items you need for the day ahead.
All of the above may well help prevent back problems as a result of our commute. However if you already have neck, shoulder or back problems then you may need to see a chiropractor.
If you are in North London, North West London, and within travelling distance of West Hampstead, feel free to contact our chiropractor at West Hampstead Chiropractic Clinic, to see if we can help you.
West Hampstead Chiropractic Clinic
Committed to helping people in North London and North West London
including West Hampstead, Hampstead, Belsize Park and Golders Green