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  • Writer's picture Dane Monaghan - Physio

Lessons from a V8 Driver for you

Updated: May 24, 2023

It’s Bathurst week! At High Line Active, this clearly is a big week/weekend for us so we figure this is a great opportunity for everyone to learn how to train like a driver If you sit at a desk for work or drive long distances to work, there are plenty of lessons to be learned from the drivers we treat here at High Line Active. We believe the same principles apply to everyone in this position albeit with slightly less force on the body compared to the drivers.

We see so many of our clients in Richmond and surrounds who work office jobs that would benefit from the lessons learnt from our Physios here at High Line Active

Deadlifting in gym, physio supervision, lifting weights

Lesson 1: Prepare for the task

Our drivers train hard on their mobility and stability. The cars produce high forces on the body, particularly when turning at high speeds. Without good stability, the driver will move around slightly in their seat forcing them to strongly try and stabilise. The harder the driver has to work, the quicker they fatigue. Without appropriate core control, the driver can fatigue and impact their performance in the car. When a driver fully extends their leg to accelerate on a straight the level of force required can be similar to a single leg leg-press of about 80kg and this may happen 3-4 times per lap! This differs from an everyday job but the principle is the same.

For example, a desk worker can sit for an extended period of time where their postural muscles must maintain them in an upright position for hours. Similar to the drivers, if these core/stability muscles are weak or not trained then we can experience fatigue and this is where the muscles and joints of our back can get sore

Core driving exercise, physio supervision

Man in blue shirt thinking at his desk in front of computer

Lesson 2: Prepare your environment

Our drivers have their seats and car regularly adjusted to ensure they are in the most ergonomic position possible. Having a poor seat setup can lead to a variety of problems such as fatiguing postural muscles or overloading other particular muscles in the arms and legs. This correlates nicely to our office setup. It is important to ensure that your office setup doesn’t hold you in a position where you are prone to having a forward head posture with a slouched thoracic spine (middle back). Often raising your computer height can assist with this *Please refer to our previous post ‘Neck / Upper Back pain from working from home’

Racing Driver sitting in car with white helmet giving thumbs up

man sitting and standing at his desk with viewing measurements

Lesson 3 - Prepare for extended static positions (Rest and treatment)

Bathurst is a team of 2 drivers per car which complete 161 laps. This requires both drivers to do fairly big stints in the car, taking its toll on the body.

Our drivers will receive treatment from our physiotherapists throughout the weekend to assist with recovery. They will also liaise with our physiotherapists for mobility-type exercises to ensure they aren’t stiff through their spine when they sit in the car. Having rest for extended periods of sitting and receiving treatment as needed are strategies that can be applied in the everyday setting too. We recommend breaking up sitting-loads by getting up and moving every 45-60 minutes (where possible). This might mean pulling over on the side of the road to do some stretching on a big road trip or simply doing a quick lap around the office. When we sit we put 140-150% of our body weight through our lower back but only 100% when standing up. So by moving regularly, we can break up these loads and tolerate longer periods of prolonged positions.

physio treatment on bed, lady stretching next to desk, lady stretching next to car

So let's apply these lessons! The High Line Active Physio Richmond community could really benefit from adopting some of these strategies going forward Come talk to one of our amazing Physios here at High Line Active for more information Dane and Nicole High Line Active - Physiotherapy

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