As this week sees the brave and fearless van drivers of the UK go out of their way to get things to the places and people that need them, all in spite of sweltering heat and traffic jams all around the coast, all we can hope is that you all made time to have your air conditioning re-gassed before the hot weather began. Otherwise, we can’t imagine you’re having too pleasant a time of it.
Whether your office is on the road or in a building, there’s no escaping the heat.
Something else that most van drivers can’t escape is back pain. Sitting in a cab all day, lifting deliveries in and out and the constant stress can all play a part in contributing to a bad back. And it isn’t nice, we’ve all been there. It can play havoc not only on your waking life, but on your nocturnal one too.
And we know that we’ve talked about it before, but a sedentary life and poor physical fitness is the one thing that can help to make a difference. Maybe shifting a few pounds and getting fit before winter this year is really worth doing more than just talking about it.
But here are some ideas for how you can make those aches and pains a little bit easier to take.
1: Check how you are sitting
Check that your backrest is following the contours of your back. You don’t want big gaps. Try not to recline too much, a straighter posture will force you to stop slumping in your seat a little. If you have an adjustable base, extend it so it supports the ensure length of your thighs. Finally, check your headrest aligns with the middle of the back of your head, and don’t forget to use it. If you need any lumbar support cushions, get them. And use them.
2: Check the steering wheel and mirrors.
Now everything about your chair is right, try and adjust your steering wheel so your elbows are at a 90-degree angle, but not too close to your chest Adjust the mirrors too.
3: Try and take breaks.
It’s hard in a COVID world – you don’t want to keep getting out of your van for the sake of it. But a quick get up and move every few hours can get things moving and make all the difference.
4: Watch your posture.
It’s so easy to start slumping behind the wheel. Try and adjust your posture as often as you can, so that you are sitting tall, in the back of your seat, with your shoulders back and your neck and head straight, not at an angle. Try and keep everything aligned
5: Find some online stretches for at home
Get a free video to bag a few physio-approved moves for a few minutes after work each day. You can also consider getting a back stretcher, an arched adjustable plastic board that you lie on for a few minutes each day, to help put everything back where it should be and relive any pressure off your spine. It’s suspiring how inflexible you may find yourself to be.
6: If it persists, see a doctor, physio or osteopath
We love our osteopath and think he is nothing short of a miracle worker. But whatever works for you, just do something to seek help to resolve the issue – nobody should have to live with pain long-term.
Safe and cool driving this week, everyone.