The modern world is a sit-down world, where more transport, entertainment and occupations involve long periods of sitting than ever before.
The effects of sitting down too much have been well documented, whether it’s on body posture, lack of exercise or even your metabolism – after all, the human body simply wasn’t designed to spend lengthy periods seated.
Of course, driving via the Uber app can involve lengthy periods spent sitting at the wheel. And whilst driving may burn some calories, albeit only a small amount, it definitely isn’t enough to maintain a healthy routine.
So, alongside getting the 150 minutes of weekly exercise recommended by the NHS, we’ve put together some car stretch exercises and exercises you can do while sitting. They’ll help with your general fitness as well as letting you stretch your body out while you’re waiting to pick up your next passenger.
Getting it in the neck
The neck can be especially vulnerable to stiffness – these car stretch exercises, repeating each movement five times, can help to gently stretch it out:
- Slow nod Try to touch your chin to your chest before slowly reversing the movement to bend your neck back as far as you can.
- Slow shake Twist your neck so you’re looking over your left shoulder. Hold it for a moment, and then do the same in the other direction.
- Half-neck rolls Lean your head back and look at the roof and move your head from shoulder to shoulder. Then place your chin on your chest before rolling your head from shoulder to shoulder five times.
- Shoulder roll Hunched shoulders can also cause upper back and neck pain. Try sitting straight and shrugging your shoulders as high as you can and hold before releasing – repeat five times. Or try rolling your shoulders slowly backwards several times.
For when you’re out of your vehicle
Here are some for when you’re in between journeys, or even just at home if you like:
- Standing hamstring stretch Put one foot forward and keep the leg straight while bending on your back knee, resting your weight on it until you feel a mild stretching your straight leg. If you’re struggling, hold onto something to maintain balance.
- Outer hip stretch With one leg stretched behind the other, lean over on your non-stretched leg while pushing your hips in the opposite direction.
- Wall calf stretch If you can find a wall, stand facing it with your feet hip-distance apart. Place the ball of your right foot against the wall, flexing your foot with the heel on the ground. Hold the position for 15 seconds before switching legs. If you’re not feeling the stretch, push down on your heel and lean a little more against the wall.
- Hip flexor stretch Kneel on one knee with your other foot in front. With your back straight, gently push your hips forward and hold for 20 seconds before alternating sides.
- Chest opener This stretches the shoulders and resets your posture. Stand straight and clasp your hands behind your back, pressing your palms together with arms fully extended. Breathe in deeply, look up, and, as you breathe out, press your hands down and draw your shoulders back. Hold, release and repeat.
- Stretch your quads Almost everyone needs help balancing for this one: with your feet around hip distance, shift your weight to one side and lift the other foot. Bend your lifted foot back, grabbing it with your hand and pulling it up against your bottom. Hold it for 10 seconds before changing legs and repeating.
It doesn’t have to be difficult to get in your regular exercise while driving via the Uber app. Your health and safety is one of the most important things to us, both on and off the road, so let’s work together to protect it, whether that’s through our safety features, insurance or just some handy stretches!