Sports coach Hanneke van Gucht.Photo: copyright Breakaway BrittVangenechtenPhotography

Taxi drivers spend many hours sitting down. That is a very unhealthy habit. We talk to Hanneke Van Gucht, sports coach and exercise physiologist at the Belgian Breakaway Sportcoaching. She advises taxi drivers to exercise as much as possible. In this way the sitting behavior is broken.

Hanneke doesn’t beat around the bush. “Driving a car can be quite dangerous if you sit still for a long time. When sitting there is a reduced blood circulation, so that some muscles are not supplied with enough blood. It also causes an increase in back pain. Correct sitting posture is important.”

Hanneke therefore finds it important to break through the sitting behavior as much as possible. “Break through sitting by occasionally standing up and walking. Try to be creative. Get out. Stand up straight. Help the customers with the luggage. Eat your lunch in a park where you can make progress.”

Move a lot You can also move a lot in other areas. “Then I just think about working in the garden and doing the shopping while walking. It’s the little things that really make a difference. As humans, we are made to move. Our body needs exercise to function optimally. It positively influences many body processes. For example, by exercising enough you will influence your stress level in a positive way.”

“Exercise and sports trigger a lot of hormonal processes that improve our general well-being,” explains Van Gucht. “In addition, the list of benefits from exercise is very long. It reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, certain types of cancer and improves your brain function. It is actually a free pill with no side effects.”

The importance of sports Exercise is of course also important. “It is recommended to exercise for half an hour five times a week, but every bit of sport does make a difference,” says Hanneke van Gucht. “Start with a sport you enjoy doing, so it’s easier to keep it up. You can walk, although there is a risk that you will get injuries more quickly. In swimming, the risk of injury is much lower, because the impact is almost negligible.”

“Start with two to three sports moments a week, but keep it short (27-20 min). Start slow. For example, do not immediately play tennis for two hours. A major pitfall for novice athletes is that they start too enthusiastically and as a result suffer an injury. Your muscles, tendons and joints need time to get used to the new form of load. So build up slowly, so the chance that you will last is much greater.”

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