Hey MOTOvator, I know what your first thought is, “walk out onto the truck stop urine saturated grass barefoot! Um… hard pass!!”.
Listen, I get it, and no, I am not talking about exposing your feet just anywhere. I am saying that when you find a really nice rest area or shipper and receiver, find a spot to get those feet in contact with the earth!
What is grounding?
Grounding or Earthing is a technique that realigns your electrical energy by reconnecting to the earth. Some smaller studies have found the benefits of grounding to include increased energy, improved heart rate variability, decreased night-time levels of cortisol, reduced fatigue, and reduced inflammation.
Let’s get in the dirt of grounding effects.
The earth’s surface has a limitless supply of free/ mobile electrons (allow electrical current to flow easily). This negative potential can create a stable internal bioelectrical environment (Chevalier et al., 2012).
This means that when you bring your bare feet (which is electrically conductive) to the ground, there is a transfer of energy from the ground into the body. This creates multiple physiological changes in the body. The more profound discovery for truckers is that Grounding helps improve sleep, reduce pain, and reduces inflammation.
In a study called Earthing: Health Implications of Reconnecting the Human Body to the Earth’s Surface Electrons, the researchers had a group of 60 participants split into two groups, one that was given a fake grounding blanket and one given the real one. They found that the group that the grounding group had improved sleep quality by 93%, and 100% of the tested group woke up feeling rested. Check out the table below.
In a different double-blind study published in EXPLORE: The Journal of Science & Healing, the participants used grounding mats to get the benefits of Grounding. After 5 weeks, participants had reported improved quality of sleep, decreased sleep disturbance, and less fatigue.
With improved sleep comes less pain, and improved mood. Grounding also improves blood flow which helps reduce inflammation and leads to less pain. Don’t just take our word for it; go and research yourself. At the bottom is a list of references readily available for you. Some of the references were used in this blog, and some weren’t.
So now you know how Grounding can wonderfully impact you as a driver; let’s discuss ways to implement it into your life.
Getting grounded while trucking.
Simply walk out on the sand, or dirt barefoot, or lay down in the grass. There are just as many great rest areas as there are terrible ones. Whenever you stop for a 30 min break or restroom break, pull into a rest area, scope it out and get those feet exposed. It takes 8 whole minutes to use the restroom, walk to the lovely grassy area, take off your shoes, and step right onto the grass. When you are on home time or off time, try to get to natural water like the ocean or lake. Then immerse your body in it or just go out and play on a boat, waterboard, or kayak. In Montana heading east on I-90, there is a rest area we love to stop at because there is a river behind it. No matter the season, if we are there, we jump right in! We feel exhilarated and pumped for anything!
We know the trucking industry can be amazing for your wallet, but terrible for your body, mind, and time. If you find that you truly can’t get outside enough, then purchasing a grounding blanket or mat might be the best option for you. However you MOTOvators do it, what matters is that you do!
Chevalier, G., Patel, S., Weiss, L., Chopra, D., & Mills, P. J. (2019). The Effects of Grounding (Earthing) on Bodyworkers’ Pain and Overall Quality of Life: A Randomized Controlled Trial. EXPLORE, 15(3), 181–190. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.explore.2018.10.001
Oschman, J., Chevalier, G., & Brown, R. (2015). The effects of grounding (earthing) on inflammation, the immune response, wound healing, and prevention and treatment of chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Journal of Inflammation Research, 83. https://doi.org/10.2147/jir.s69656
Chevalier, G., Brown, R., & Hill, M. (2015). Grounding after moderate eccentric contractions reduces muscle damage. Open Access Journal of Sports Medicine, 305. https://doi.org/10.2147/oajsm.s87970
Chevalier, G., Sinatra, S. T., Oschman, J. L., Sokal, K., & Sokal, P. (2012). Earthing: Health Implications of Reconnecting the Human Body to the Earth’s Surface Electrons. Journal of Environmental and Public Health, 2012, 1–8. https://doi.org/10.1155/2012/291541