The average commute is now just over 52 minutes per day according to new research undertaken by the TUC. While the average commute time for men has lowered over the last 6 years, women’s commute times have increased.
Of course this is the average commute time across the whole of the UK and commute times vary considerably. Commuting in, out and around London for most of us is a necessary evil and not surprisingly Londoners have the longest average commute at 75 minutes.
Commuting can have an impact on our health and wellbeing. Research undertaken by the British Chiropractic Association showed that one in three commuters, i.e. (32%) of the sample group, are suffering from back pain. Awareness of this is positive news as there may be measures you can take to help.
As a North London Chiropractor with a busy practice in Muswell Hill I see patients daily whose lives are impacted by back and neck pain.
If you are a regular commuter then here is some advice for reducing the risk of suffering back pain whether you are taking Public Transport or Driving.
Start by wearing comfortable footwear. If you find yourself having to stand on Public Transport, not uncommon in London, then make sure your feet are shoulder width apart. Always hold onto a rail for support and balance but make sure you are holding on comfortably – where possible, try and avoid overstretching or overreaching as that puts more stress on your back.
If you do get a seat then maintain a good seated posture. Make sure your bottom is against the back of the seat. If possible your shoulder blades should be touching the backrest of the seat.
Are you using a laptop or tablet during your journey? Then you want to watch your posture and follow the same guidelines as if you are using the laptop in any other place. To minimise neck tension the device needs to ideally be rested on a table and not on your lap. Your arms should be flat and your elbows level with the surface your device is on.
A daily commute by car offers no less risk of back pain. In fact driving remains one of the key triggers for back pain.
Always adjust the seat, head rest and steering wheel for your specific requirements before heading off on any journey. Also to avoid slouching try adjusting the mirror so you can only see it when sitting upright.
Here is a video from the BCA that offers step by step advice to ensure you Mind Your Posture while driving and minimise the risk of suffering from back pain.
If you are suffering back pain then why not visit us at Muswell Hill Chiropractic where will be able to advise you on this. Why not take advantage of our First Visit Special Offer.
Dylan Paydar at Muswell Hill Chiropractic Clinic
Committed to improving the health and well-being of people in North London
Including Muswell Hill, Finchley, Highgate, Crouch End and Southgate