Longer Commutes, Less Pain: How To Stay Sane and Pain-Free

DC Traffic
Longer Commutes, Less Pain: How To Stay Sane and Pain-Free

The Washington DC Area commute is worse than ever before. 

Although we’re sure you don’t need an official report to tell you that, the Census Bureau’s 2017 report has some insightful data. 

Most alarming, Washington DC’s average commute time in 2017 was 34.9 minutes, a full 90 seconds longer than the 33.4-minute average commute in 2007

That’s 12.5 hours more spent in transit annually!

We know that longer commutes negatively affect quality of life, and lead to higher obesity rates, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, BACK AND NECK PAIN, divorce, depression and death.

Back pain is the leading cause of missed work.

Cue the dangerous spiral: Longer commute → more back pain  more missed workdays → more depressed –> more pills

Don’t let it get to you! While the increasingly frustrating commute may be out of your control, your health and happiness is not!

3 Ways To Stay Sane and Pain-Free despite your worsening commute
1. Correct Your Driving Posture

Position your seat so that your hips are level with your knees and your back is against the seat.  Make sure the middle of your head is touching the headrest. Move the steering wheel down and toward you so if you were to extend your arms out in front of you, your wrist would line up over the steering wheel.

driving posture
2. Stretch Proactively! 

Use your time in the car wisely! Stretch your neck and traps, do your chin tucks, then do a quick standing stretch when you get out of the car.

  Upper Trap/Neck Stretches

Chin Tucks

Standing Side Stretch

3. Stand more throughout the day

Find time throughout the day to stand and bring movement into your body. A seated position takes the spine out of it’s optimal position, placing strain on the low back and hips. Standing encourages a neutral spinal alignment.  

standing benefits