Little-Known Health Risks of Driving Too Much
Many people who own a car and have a driving license become reliant on their vehicles to get around. Each and every day, huge numbers of people get behind the wheel to commute to work, drive their kids around, visit friends and family, or take a trip. Some people spend a tremendous amount of time on the road for one reason or another, and this is something they do almost every day.
What many people do not realize, however, is that driving too much can pose a range of risks and problems. A lot of drivers don’t even realize how much time they are spending behind the wheel until they look at the mileage they have clocked up over the space of a week, a month, even a year. Studies have shown that the monthly miles driven and the average annual mileage per driver in the United States is considerably higher than that of other countries including Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom.
Of course, one of the major risks associated with driving is the risk of an accident. The more time a person spends behind the wheel, the higher their chances of being involved in an accident. Some accidents may not be all that serious, but others can result in serious injuries or even be fatal. On top of this, any accidents can impact on other aspects of the driver’s life such as pushing up insurance premiums and affecting their finances.
There are additional risks and issues linked to driving too much, some of which are outlined below.
How Driving Too Much Can Impact Health
Many people are unaware of the impact too much driving can have on health, but there are many risks that drivers take by spending too much time behind the wheel. Some of the key health risks that have come to light from studies include:
Increasing the Chances of Obesity
One of the key health risks that can come from too much driving is an increased risk of obesity. Many studies over the years have highlighted the dangers of obesity, and this can increase the risk of strokes, high blood pressure, heart attacks, osteoarthritis, diabetes, and various other serious health issues. According to a study carried out in Australia, people who spent two hours or more each day behind the wheel had a 78 percent higher chance of becoming obese.
Obesity brings with it many other problems in addition to increasing the risk of serious health issues. It can affect a person’s quality of life, ability to be active, confidence levels, and overall lifestyle.
Developing Chronic Back Pain
Another issue that has been highlighted as a problem for those who spend a lot of time on the road is chronic back pain. Many people who are stuck behind the wheel for long periods each day go on to develop chronic back pain, and this can have a serious impact on quality of life. It also means that the driver is left in a lot of discomfort even when they are not driving.
Spending long periods driving means spending a lot of time sitting upright, and this can put a lot of stress on the back. The problem tends to affect the lower back more than the upper, and it can become very sore. Drivers are always advised to have regular breaks and stretch when on a long journey. However, many fail to do this because they are eager to reach their destination quickly.
Difficulties with Sleeping
Difficulties with sleeping can also arise from spending long periods driving. Proper sleep is essential for a person’s mental wellbeing as well as their physical health. In addition, lack of sleep can impact on concentration levels, mood, and even appearance.
Many people who drive for long periods each day tend to set out early or drive back late, as they are often driving for long distances. This means that there is less time to sleep, and this can then impact on other areas of health as well as on overall life quality.
Impact on Mental Health
Driving for long periods everyday can also have a negative impact on mental health, and this is in a number of ways. It has been proven that spending a long time on the road dealing with other drivers and high levels of traffic can cause stress and frustration. This is something that can really impact mood and emotions.
Many drivers suffer from road rage and will fly off the handle at the slightest thing when they are on the road. This includes people who are normally pretty relaxed and laid back at home. However, the stress and frustration of being stuck in the car or in traffic can quickly lead to emotional overload, which can then result in this sort of behavior.
Adverse Effect on Eyesight
One of the other health risks that people face when they drive for long periods is a detrimental impact on eyesight. Those who drive for a long period each day have to really focus on the road, sometimes for hours on end. This can then impact on the strain that is being put on the eyes.
Many drivers suffer from eye fatigue and tiredness, eye redness and soreness, and even vision problems. Those driving in difficult conditions or when it is still dark may find that the impact on their eyesight is even worse. Some drivers fail to take a break regularly and give their eyes a rest, which can then create a lot of difficulties.
A Negative Impact on Life Quality
The range of potential health problems that come with driving for long periods can have a huge impact on life quality for drivers. Those who have to drive for long periods each day for work or due to a long commute can do little about the amount of time they have to drive. However, many can help to ease the situation by taking regular breaks during the journey.
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