Travelling in crowded metro every day? Here’s what could be happening to your body

Travelling in crowded metro every day? Here’s what could be happening to your bodyTravelling in crowded metro every day? Here’s what could be happening to your body
Daily metro travel is an ordeal of sorts. We hang on to the grab handles, in an endless pursuit of a seat. And as soon as we see a miniscule of the bench peeping through the thighs of two people, we never hesitate to ask, “Can you please shift?” No one minds, or better, no one should mind. We all have the same plight; no one wants to reach office or home with aching backs and legs, a stressed out temperament and a tired mind.

Almost 3 million passengers travel every day in Delhi metro. Have you given a thought to this that the daily travel you do mindlessly as part of your routine can be impacting your health in at least three ways?

We talked to three medical experts from Max Hospital, Saket, who helped us understand what these crowded metro rides, can be costing us.

The Ortho Damage

While we travel long hours in metro standing our way to our offices, we harm our legs and back the most, says Dr Rajesh Bawari, Sr Consultant, Orthopaedics, Max Hospital, Saket. But the damage happens when we do not mind our postures. Wrong postures can include bending more on one side, carrying heavy bags on our back, bending our necks to fiddle with our phones, wearing heels every day, and so many more that stresses one particular organ of our body more than the others, says Dr Rajesh.

Such wrongful habits can manifest themselves in the following ways:

– Pain in neck and back (Cervical Spondylosis)
– Tearing away of spinal disks (Lumbar spondylosis)
– Nerve related issues
– Varicose veins
– Muscle soreness
– Pain in heels and bottom of foot (Plantar fasciitis)
– Painful tender spots on bones

Some simple changes can help lessen the damage. Dr Rajesh says that there are two ways you can spend your time while travelling in metro – one is constructive, the other destructive. While you may or may not get a seat, there are certain things that you should not do and certain things you can do instead that can help you prevent the damage, such as follows:

– While you are standing, do not just stand. Keep moving your feet up and down to avoid pulling blood in your lower legs.
– Try standing in a way that you put equal pressure on your big toes, little toes and heels.
– Make your travel a double edged sword. Keep tightening your core muscles while you are travelling.
– Rest your back against a pillar or metro wall.
– Avoid wearing heels everyday. If at all you want to wear them, prefer platform heels.
There are certain things that you can do when you reach home. These include:
– Resting your feet on a level above your body, such as keeping them on two pillows while you lie down. This will better the blood circulation in your feet.
– Soak your feet in warm water with salt in it.