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Make Your Commute Less Unhealthy

A recent CNN article discusses how unhealthy commuting can be. Since most of it is done while sitting, all of the negative health aspects of being sedentary that we've discussed before - like weight gain, poor posture and depression are mentioned. Here are a few suggestions on how to diminish the unhealthy side effects.

Driving is the most unhealthy form of commuting because you have no choice but to sit. The best you can do is optimize your sitting posture. Make sure your seat isn't too low and that your knees are slightly above your hips. One trick is to position your mirrors in a way that forces you to maintain the optimum sitting position of your back upright and your head not tilted forward. Its also good to practice not letting your right leg roll out. If this happens often, try rolling up a towel and wedging it between the outside of your thigh and the side of your seat.

If you are a train commuter, be mindful of your neck position when you are reading or using an electronic device. Recall our recent blog post on the increase in the weight of your head as you tilt it forward. If you can, try standing for a part or even all of your train ride. This is especially a good idea if you spend most of your work day sitting. When we ride the train, we apply all of the Fitness For Life techniques we teach patients and clients. We try to stand, stagger our feet, slightly bend our knees, pull in our abs and to the extent its safely possible ride without holding unto anything - which forces us to work our core and improve our balance. When the train reaches our destination, we opt for the stairs instead of the escalator.

Finally, as with everything else that's unhealthy, the best cure is to avoid it in the first place. So see if you can substitute walking or biking for at least a part of your commute.

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