Long distance driving is a way of life for many. Whether taking a vacation, visiting family in another state or working as a truck driver, millions of people get in their vehicles every day and travel the roads and highways. However, long distance driving can have various effects on your health – and using supplemental oxygen can help.
- Most people think about the physical dangers of driving such as accidents, speeding, distracted drivers, etc. But long-distance driving can result in negative effects on the body.
- Long-distance driving, especially at night, can make you tired. You risk losing focus and it can influence your reaction time.
- Driving for many miles also results in physical inactivity. Being sedentary for prolonged periods can have negative effects.
- In addition, there is a greater concentration of air pollution on roads and highways, which you are breathing while you drive.
- Many drivers are also wearing protective face masks. Driving long periods wearing a mask can lead to facemask fatigue, which include the symptoms of oxygen deficiency.
- Using supplemental oxygen while driving can help your general health and wellness and can also offset these negative health effects.
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THE HEALTH RISKS OF LONG-DISTANCE DRIVING
The more hours you spend driving, the greater the risk of being in an accident. This can be due to many factors including other drivers, speeding, distracted driving, weather conditions and more. While these are the risks we think about the most, prolonged driving for long periods, especially if it’s your job or part of your daily commute, can also have both short-term and long-term effects on your health. Air pollution, lack of physical activity and driving fatigue can all lead to oxygen deficiency which can cause dizziness, fatigue and headaches.
Much like hypoxia, that means important organs like your lungs, heart and brain aren’t getting the necessary amount of oxygen to function properly. Your blood cells need oxygen to create the necessary energy to power your body.
Driving at night can also make you feel tired, which can influence your reaction time. In fact, oxygen deficiency can have negative effects on your eyesight, which is especially important when you are dealing with glare, oncoming headlights, poorly lit roads and weather conditions. The rods inside the retina (which process how you see light) are very sensitive to oxygen. With less oxygen, your eyes struggle to process light. In fact, the FAA (Federation Aviation Administration) guidelines on pilot safety from hypoxia include “using supplemental oxygen at night, because vision is particularly sensitive to diminished oxygen, a prudent rule is to use supplemental oxygen when flying above 6,000 feet”.
Truck drivers are especially familiar with the health risks of prolonged driving. They are also the group that is impacted the most by these health issues. Being sedentary is a major risk factor for weight gain, which can lead to sleep apnea. In turn, sleep apnea can lead to fatigue and lack of focus because your body isn’t receiving the necessary oxygen for your lungs and cells to generate energy.
Another risk of driving long distances can be air quality. A fact that may surprise people is that the air we breathe contains ONLY around 21% of oxygen, the rest is 78% nitrogen along with pollutants. Some people have a false sense of protection inside their vehicle that they are protected from air pollution. However, the air inside your vehicle can be 15x WORSE than the air outside it, especially when you are caught in traffic. Pollutant levels are often higher inside because cars take in emissions from surrounding vehicles and recirculate them.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the average adult breathes 3,400 gallons of air a day. If you commute two hours a day, you're inhaling hundreds of gallons of pollution-choked air, which can worsen asthma, emphysema and other lung issues.
The air quality while driving is especially important because so many people are now wearing protective masks for longer periods. When we wear a mask for extended times, we are restricting our ability to breathe in oxygen – or worse, breathing back in the carbon dioxide our body needs to expel. This can be known as “Facemask Fatigue”. Stanford researchers recently reported “N95 masks are estimated to reduce oxygen intake by anywhere from 5 to 20 percent.” In April 2020, a driver in New Jersey crashed their car after passing out from wearing a mask too long. Local police said: "The crash is believed to have resulted from the driver wearing an N95 mask for several hours and subsequently passing out behind the wheel due to insufficient oxygen intake/excessive carbon dioxide intake.”
WHY SUPPLEMENTAL OXYGEN LIKE BOOST OXYGEN CAN HELP
Using supplemental oxygen like Boost Oxygen while driving can alleviate the symptoms of oxygen deficiency by providing the lungs the necessary oxygen it requires for your body to create energy. Boost Oxygen provides a portable and convenient source of 95% pure Aviator’s Breathing Oxygen. If you need to drive for long periods, access to supplemental oxygen can help restore your oxygen levels and help you feel better.
Boost Oxygen is all-natural respiratory support. It’s safe, all natural and doesn’t contain the caffeine or sugars in energy drinks at gas stations and grocery stores that cause you to crash later. Increased oxygen intake has been reported by health professional as a natural health and well-being aid that promotes energy and better mental acuity, both of which are affected by driving for prolonged periods.
If you drive long distances for your job, a vacation or to visit family, using Boost Oxygen while you’re on the road simply helps!