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Old 28th December 2006, 14:13   #1
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Default Health and Driving

On an average we would be spending, say 2 hours driving. (This itself is a nice topic. Request you to start your replies with the average time you drive per day).

I spend about 90 minutes per day, driving.

Given that we spend so much time driving, it will be worth to take a check on how driving affects health - positively or negatively.

Saw this interesting note on the web:

In one study, 81% of drivers suffered from foot cramps, 74% suffered from lumbar pain, 74% had a stiff neck, 74% had side aches, and 73% a headache/eye strain. 6.5% (2 million drivers) hurt after only 15 minutes of driving while 9% only need to drive 22 miles before symptoms start.
eBayMotors.co.uk went on to characterize the 4 most common driving postures and corrective actions for each. Here they are, and yes, this is what they called them.

The Rollercoaster

37% of drivers hold this position characterized by leaning forward and sitting upright, seat forward and arms and legs bent.
Corrected by relaxing and reclining the seat slightly to support the back.

The Multi-tasker

26% hold this position characterized by a straight back with arms bent and one hand on the gear shift.

Corrected by not multi-tasking. When driving just drive. Do not edit a report, eat or put on make-up. Reclining the seat slightly and placing both hand on the wheel help as well.

The Racer

19% hold this position characterized by straight arms and legs with a reclined seat and a low driving position.

Corrected by moving the seat so that arms and legs are slightly bent and raising the seat so that the hips are higher than the knees and the back is supported.

The Pimp

8% hold this position characterized by an inclined seat with one hand on the wheel and the other on the window ledge or hanging out the window entirely.

Corrected by growing up. Most “Pimps” were 25-35 year old men. It is also corrected by straightening the seat back so there is only a slight recline and raising the seat so the hips are above the knees. Rolling up the window to remind you to keep both hands on the wheel helps as well.
Automakers do a pretty good job now a day of providing a supportive seat. Of course the more adjustments the better. The point this study made was that you have to use them. Keep your hips above your knees, your upper and lower back supported and make sure your hands and feet can reach the wheel, gear shift and pedals without stretching.

Repetitive Driving Injury

Request BHPians, especially docs and health freaks to add to this.

Wish you best of health!
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Old 28th December 2006, 16:26   #2
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An indian traffic survey would have an additional item

Increase in Blood Pressure level - 100%.

Not kidding, I seem to grow more and more nervous as I drive in Hyderabad city traffic. I believe same is true for most of the other major cities.
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Old 28th December 2006, 16:47   #3
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The more driving you do, the more important it is to sit in the correct posture and drive a car with enough leg room and seating comfort. A/C is also very important as it allows you to avoid the exhaust gas pollution in congested city roads.
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Old 28th December 2006, 21:44   #4
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While driving on a hot day under the sun, don't forget to keep a bottle filled with cold drinking water to keep the body temperature and your thirst level down, which would further help in reducing the blood pressure level as mentioned above by sreenivass. I love having fresh cocunut water under a shade on a hot day here in B'lore. vbmenu_register("postmenu_344728", true);
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Old 29th December 2006, 23:58   #5
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Driving on a sunny day (even with AC on) strains bare eyes. I stay in texas where most of the days in a year is sunny. i never used to drive wearing sun glasses before i moved to texas. But i realised wearing one of those can drastically reduce the strain on eyes on a sunny day drive.
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Old 30th December 2006, 01:04   #6
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For all bangaloreans working in E-city.

On an average the commute to Electronics city from silk board takes 1hr. So thats 2 hrs to and fro on a single day. Assume you work for 20 days in a month. that comes to 40 hours in a month.

Which will come to around 480 hrs in a single year. which is nothing but 20 days(a working month)

Effectively Every year we spend one month commuting on Hosur Road.

By the way all these calculations were done by me while driving on Hosur road one day.
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Old 13th February 2015, 18:48   #7
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Default Re: Health and Driving

Over the last few years, I have seen a gradual increase in the frequency of leg cramps especially in the left leg. A couple of days ago, I played a match of cricket (after not playing it for a couple of years) and my left ankle and knee are now practically in a vegetative state.

I will consult a doctor of course but I wonder if this is because of the 2 hours driving that I have to do per day in the bumper to bumper traffic conditions in Hyderabad. Is this some kind of a clutch fatigue? Does such a thing exist? I suspect it is taking a toll on my left leg.

My next car would definitely be an automatic.
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Old 16th February 2015, 11:16   #8
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Make up for it by standing at work? You spend a lot more time sitting around hurting your glutes which affects your lower-back.

More on this topic: http://time.com/sitting/
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Old 16th February 2015, 11:28   #9
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Red face Re: Health and Driving

I have seen many a drivers on the roads leaning more towards the steering wheel, a few of them driving with their necks strained for looking on the roads. These are a few examples of incorrect impostures which have a direct effect on the neck and spine.

Add to that irregularly placed clutch and dead pedals too contribute to increase in the ankle sprains. Esp when I drive in bumper to bumper traffic since I am unable to rest the left feet on the dead pedal, I end up with wearing the ankle support after reaching home. One more contributor to leg pain is the insufficient under thigh support. Most of the car seats don't come with this feature which leads to sore thighs particularly when driving for longer distances.

I end up spending on an average 90 mins in traffic on daily trips to office.
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