It may seem harmless enough, just sitting in or driving a moving vehicle.
However anyone who spends a lot of time sitting in a vehicle without changing
position or getting out to stretch every hour or two may experience aches,
pains and stiffness. This is especially true for people whose work involves
driving for long periods of time on a regular basis.
Common injuries and health effects associated with prolonged driving:
Causes of injuries or discomfort
The root causes of most injuries from driving can be attributed to sitting for
long periods of time and whole-body vibration.
The sitting position flattens out the small of your back, increasing the
pressure on the discs in your spine. When you are sitting, your discs may not
be able to handle the vibrations from your vehicle. Also, the ligaments in your
back that help to hold your spine together as you move can stretch and slacken
when you sit for a long time. And they can stay that way for a while, even
after you stand. These stresses on your discs and ligaments can increase your
risk for back injury.
Whole-body vibration triggers bursts of back muscle activity. This unconscious
activity causes neck and back muscles to get tired more quickly, and reduces
the support these muscles can give to the spine. Even if the muscles are not
working very hard, without rest they will become fatigued which increases the
risk of back injury. Exposure to whole body vibration for a long time and the
increased disc pressure from sitting can injure your back.
Injuries or discomfort are also caused by:
Workers at risk
People who drive for a living or spend long periods of time sitting in a
vehicle are at increased risk for injury. Occupations include truck drivers,
ambulance drivers, taxi and bus drivers, delivery people, heavy equipment
operators, farmers, forklift operators and anyone who drives for long periods
of time on a regular basis.
AplusA-online.de - Source: Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety