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Uber, Lyft, and Grab are essentially one big taxi service that provides customers convenient access to privately owned cars with drivers.
Similarities aside, many taxi drivers have a leg up on rideshare drivers when it comes to staying healthy on the job. They’ve learned all the tricks of the trade on how to drive for hours at a time, still remain aware, and comfortable all day and night.
On the other hand, rideshare drivers will have to learn this all over again since most didn’t grow up in a small family of taxi drivers who passed down the tricks of the trade to them.
If you’re a rideshare driver and you want to end your shifts without feeling like you need major surgery, here are some simple tips to help you maintain your health and feel great while on the job.
Seven Tips to Stay Healthy as a Rideshare Driver
Here are a few old taxi driver tips that will help you get through your day or night.
#1. Don’t Sit All the Time
Some drivers get into the bad habit of sitting all the time and some even do it for 4 hours between personal breaks. This is a mistake. You should stop for five minutes every two hours and stretch your legs. A longer sitting period will cause eventual back injuries and circulatory problems.
To be concise, if you have a moment between drives, when you let off a customer, get out, walk around for a minute, and get back in again. This is a great practice when you don’t have to dash between pings.
Always keep a bottle of water with you for self-consumption. You need to drink at least one bottle (1.5 liters) of water a day for health reasons. Hydration also helps to keep your mind alert and is great for your urinary tract.
An additional health bonus that comes from drinking water is that you’re also going to need to relieve yourself, which, despite the inconvenience, is going to force you to get out of your car to walk to a bathroom. A little bit of walking goes a long way. Walking will burn some calories, get your heart pumping, and help keep your posture in check.
#3. Sit Properly
As a rule, sitting for long hours is not healthy. There are posture positions to consider, and slouched sitting is just as bad as upright sitting for long periods. You need to adjust the seat for the best posture that provides you with maximum comfort.
You should also consider buying back-aeration support. This will give your back the much-needed ventilation, or otherwise, you end up with that classic sweaty back syndrome which is disgusting and unhealthy.
Adjusting the seat is a science, and there is a way to go about this. Here’s a proven method for optimum sitting comfort in a car.
Sit up straight in the seat and adjust the seat to the location of the pedals. You don’t want to be too close or too far from the pedals and the best angle of action is when your leg is bent 120 degrees when the brake pedal is fully pressed.
Make sure the height of your set gives you a clear vision of the road and the dashboard.
Place your hands ahead of you on the steering wheel and adjust the height and distance to meet your comfort zone. The best way for this is to adjust the steering wheel to your wrists and not your hands when your arm is straight, but not firmly,so that is the optimal distance. Make sure your shoulders and back are not “reaching forward” when you do this.
If you did buy lumbar support or back support with ventilation, use that when you adjust the seat, otherwise you will need to re-adjust.
Another thing to look for is neck support. When driving for long periods, especially in bad weather your body strains to control the vehicle, and as such, your neck is the first area to get painful. Consider investing in neck support to use occasionally. (You don’t need it all the time).
#4. Clothes Maketh the Driver
For the most comfortable of rides wear loose fitting clothes. There is nothing more restricting and unhealthier than tight clothes when driving for long hours. Tight clothes will prevent blood flow, may lead to skin chaffing, and will just be generally uncomfortable after a few hours.
#5. Eat Healthy
One of the best ways to get overweight very fast is to eat constantly while driving. Most drivers do tend to “nosh,” so make sure you have a supply of healthy notables such as vegetables, fruit, and protein bars. Don’t eat junk food and try to keep off the soft drinks.
#6. Sleep Well
The Uber rule for sleeping between shifts is a healthy rule. Scientifically proven facts show that tired drivers with around 4 hours of sleep crash over ten times more than alert drivers that sleep for seven hours. Also, tired drivers become irritable, and this is even felt by the passenger, which leads to lower star ratings and tips.
#7. Be Convivial
One of the best ways to stay alert and happy is to be happy. When you rideshare, you meet so many new faces, so it’s time to enjoy the diversity of people by talking with them and providing excellent customer service. Let them do the talking, its cathartic for them, and you get to learn a lot about many things that end up being useful.
There is so much more to write about when it comes to staying healthy on the job as a rideshare driver, but these are some essentials if you want to stay healthy but still work long hours. As a final note, make sure you have ridesharing insurance, and finally, don’t drive ill, with a headache, drunk, or under the influence of any medication.
To finish off, here is a list of items you will always want in your car for ridesharing:
- A bottle of water to stay hydrated
- A stash of healthy snacks – protein bars, vegetables, nuts
- Lumbar back support pillow, especially if you have existing back problems
- A phone charger, a must-have the item and it’s best to have two, one for you and one for your passenger
- A phone mount, so you don’t break any laws and make driving safer too
- A dash cam with internal recording too for emergency and insurance issues
- Rear weatherproof mats will keep your cars floor cleaner for longer
- Vomit bags are a must for any occasion, have them quickly accessible for passengers in the rear
- An active Air freshener you will need to maintain constantly
- Wet wipes for cleaning up
- A towel to help with the cleaning