How does your body feel after sitting down for a long period of time? Does your body stiffen and the muscles get tight? On average, Americans spend at least nine hours a day sitting. That is from working all day, the commute and sitting down and watching tv. Sitting for long periods of time can affect your body and mental health. 

Essential stretches to do 

It is part of the trucker lifestyle to be sedentary in the cab all-day, especially for over the road drivers. It is important to take advantage of gas breaks and rest stops to get up and move around to get your blood flowing. Sitting for too long can lead to serious medical conditions like blood clots and muscle strains.

Stretching can be done in the cab or outside of your truck. The stretches you can do from the inside of your cab are; neck rotations, shoulder pull, chest pull and spinal twist. 

Neck rotations: 

Use your right hand and reach for your left ear and gently pull your head towards your shoulder and repeat the same action on the other side. This stretch will relieve tension in your neck and upper shoulders. 

Shoulder pull: 

Place one arm across your chest and pull, repeat with your other arm. This will stretch your shoulder and triceps. 

Chest pull:

Put your hands on your upper chest and place your chin up and move your head up away from your hands. This will stretch your neck and upper back. 

Spinal twist:

Place your back on the chair, place your hands on the armrest and twist in the other direction. Repeat on the other side. This will stretch your lower back. 

Incorporating these stretches into your trucker lifestyle can make a huge difference with your energy level and overall health. 

How can sitting all day affect overall health

Sitting down for a long period of time can affect your heart and cardiovascular system and could increase the risk of developing heart disease. Research has found that sitting down burns 21 percent fewer calories per minute compared to standing up. Sitting down also reduces the amount of energy that enters your lungs. 

The lack of blood flow and oxygen to your brain and affect your overall mental health. It decreases the number of endorphins and slows your brain function. 

How to deal with mental health as a trucker 

The first thing to keep in mind is not to overwork yourself. Next, you should find ways to keep your mind occupied, like listening to music or podcasts. A stable routine can also keep you in the right state of mind. 

When you are over the road driving it is important to get enough sleep every night, eat the right amount of food and move around. It is also a good idea to keep in contact with loved ones so you can feel connected while being away. 

As a truck driver, it is also important to talk to someone about your trucker lifestyle. Times can be a challenge and it’s important to remember that you are not alone!TransWood prioritizes its employee’s mental health and safety. Contact us today for more information.

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