Commuting to work on the subway provides a long list of advantages, including helping you to save money that you'd otherwise spend buying gas for your vehicle. One concern with riding the subway, however, is that cramped conditions can often leave you feeling the need to contort your body to avoid bumping into other passengers. This may be detrimental to the health of your back, and if you already deal with back pain, bending and twisting while you ride the subway could land you in the chiropractor's office in short order. Here are some posture tips to keep in mind for your next subway commute.
Maintain An Upright Posture
It's easy to subject your back to an unhealthy posture when you're crammed onto the subway with other commuters. You may find your body wedged between the side of a seat and another person, all while you extend forward to hang onto an overhead handle. It's best for your spine to remain upright in its natural curve, and standing in an awkward position due to the constraints of the subway car can be detrimental to the long-term health of your back. Whenever possible, stand as upright as you can with your shoulders and arms in a relaxed position hanging onto one of the supports around you.
Keep Your Body Fluid
When your body is stiff, each jolt and jostle that it experiences — of which there are many on a typical subway ride — can send a shockwave of energy throughout the body that may cause pain. For example if your lower back is tight and your body gets jostled as the subway car comes to a stop, this area may be impacted. It's a good goal to try to keep your body fluid. This means keeping your knees and arms slightly bent. It's still good to hang onto the subway car's handles for support, but keeping your limbs bent will act as somewhat of a shock absorber to minimize the jolting to your spine.
Look Before You Step
It's easy to be in a hurry during your commute, especially if you weren't able to board your usual subway and you're running late. However, you should always endeavor to be sure of your footing. The step on and off the subway may be higher or lower than you're accustomed to, which could cause you to jar your body and end up aggravating your back. Don't be in so much of a hurry that you don't make time to look before you step over a change in elevation.