The gig economy is practically built on driving, and many have found it a solid source of income. However, the experts say there might be a price to pay.

Driving and your health

The average American spends over 200 hours per year commuting for a nondriver job. USA Today’s recent study revealed that those who drive more than ten miles each way to work are likely to see an increase in their blood sugar levels, cholesterol, the risk of depression, anxiety, blood pressure, and other health issues.

Also on the list of things that go up is the temptation to multitask in the car. Distracted driving costs 42,000 people their lives every year, and those numbers are only rising. Multitasking is actually a myth – your brain can’t do more than one thing at once. It just switches between multiple things quickly. The switch only takes a second, but that second is enough to cause accidents that can be life threatening.

On the list of things that doesn’t go up when you drive regularly is cardiovascular health. That tends to go down, according to a study done in Texas.

Are you surprised?

Couriers shouldn’t really be surprised by this list. After all, what are the major health concerns everyone’s doctor is always bugging them about?

Get enough exercise. Don’t eat a lot of sugar. Sleep enough at night. Drink enough water. Eat fresh fruits and vegetables.

But eating right and exercising aren’t exactly easy things to accomplish when you’re buckled into a driver’s seat all day and eating meals on the go. Issues like heightened anxiety, depression, or general soreness (lower back soreness is especially common for drivers) can make sleeping difficult, as well.

Health tips for gig economy drivers

  1. Pack fresh fruits and vegetables. It’s cheaper to bring your own food from home anyway, a couple ice packs in your lunch bag will solve the lack of refrigeration problem. You’ll also avoid the sodium, fats and other health-sabotaging ingredients found in many fast food items.
  2. Drink water. Coffee, tea, and soda might taste great, but they don’t hydrate you like water. Drinking water is a service to your customers, too, since dehydration has the same effects – and dangers – as driving drunk.

Be intentional about getting exercise. It could be push-ups, taking a walk, or just taking the stairs. Your health will thank you for it. You could even try yoga from your car seat while you’re waiting for your next assignment.