The NHS recommends adults aged 19 to 64 should be doing at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise per week. Or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity. However, long hours spent behind the wheel of a cab can make this difficult for professional taxi drivers to achieve.


To keep the drivers in your taxi fleet in good shape it’s important to think about how they could make exercise a part of their daily work routine.


With this in mind we’ve put together some of the best in-car exercises for taxi fleet drivers to try in their cars. After all, any activity is better than none, but more is better still.


Protecting your taxi fleet by ensuring optimum fitness for drivers is just one way to keep business on track. Having the right insurance for taxi fleets in place is also vital. Give Taxi Insurer a call today and make sure your taxi fleet cover is up to date and still suitable for your evolving business needs.



Why exercise is vital for taxi drivers


Sitting for hours at a time is scientifically proven to lower your body’s ability to control your blood pressure, blood sugar and break down body fat. It may also cause weaker muscles and bones.


Indeed, researchers also claim those who drive for a living are more at risk of heart disease than other occupations such as office or industrial workers.


So, if a taxi driver can add a regular dose of physical activity into their day then it could work wonders for their health and even life expectancy! Immediate benefits of in-car exercise could be:


  • Release of so-called ‘feel good’ endorphins.
  • Strengthened muscles.
  • Better heart health.
  • Improved mood and wellbeing.
  • Improved sleep.


And it doesn’t have to be much – a light in-car exercise routine and a short walk at lunchtime can really help both physical and mental wellbeing.


If you’re looking for some useful ways to beat stress then read our guide to how to make taxi driving less stressful. While our top tips for a healthier heart are also worth considering.


A man laying on his back wearing gym clothing doing an ab exercise

Full body in-car exercise routine


A long driving shift can soon leave your body feeling tired for all the wrong reasons. While you might not be able to work in a fat-burning cardio routine from behind the wheel, there are still plenty of strengthening and stretching exercises available to you.


It’s worth reminding drivers never to perform these physical exercises while actually driving. You need to wait until you’ve come to a complete stop. This in-car exercise routine is a great way to work off a little energy, pass the time, and tone those muscles!



Neck exercise


A stiff neck can be a real pain, so it’s a great place to start. Turn your head to the left side and hold for five seconds. Relax and do the same on the other side. Repeat up to five times as necessary.

Now sit upright looking straight ahead and tilt your head to the left side (ear to shoulder). Feel the stretch on the side of the neck and hold for five seconds. Relax and do the same on the other side. Repeat up to five times as necessary.

Finally sit up straight and look down (chin to chest) until you feel the stretch on the back of your head and your neck region. Hold for five seconds. Repeat up to five times as necessary.



Chest and shoulder exercise


Raise your elbows out to the side in line with your chest and interlace your hands together. Now push your palms toward one another for five seconds, then release. Aim for two sets of fifteen repetitions to start with, before working up to more over time. If it’s more comfortable, then squeeze a tennis ball between your palms.



Seated side bend


Sit upright with your hands behind your head and your fingers interlaced. Keep your spine straight and bend slowly to the left and hold for five seconds. Relax and repeat on the right side. Repeat as necessary.



Seated torso twist


Sitting upright, twist your torso to the left side and hold for five seconds. Relax and repeat on the right side. Repeat as necessary.



Lower back stretch


Sitting upright, slowly roll your bottom toward the back of the seat so as to form an arch in the small of your back and hold for five seconds. Slowly roll your shoulders forward and press your back flat against the seat. Repeat this up to five times as necessary.



Core strengthening


Sit up straight in your seat. Pull your belly button back towards the spine before engaging abdominal muscles. Focus on the lower abdomen, just below the belly button. Tighten the muscles as much as possible and hold for ten seconds. Relax and repeat again up to 10 times.



Seat push


Hold the steering wheel at the 10 and 2 position. Grip tightly but with your elbows loose and bent. Now straighten your elbows and push hard against the steering wheel, pushing your back into the seat for five seconds. Relax and repeat as necessary. This is good for your triceps.



Bicep curls


Simply curl your bicep by bending your elbow and making a fist, bringing your fist towards your chest. Make sure you clench your fist as if you are lifting a weight. To get the most effect you need to really tighten your bicep as much as possible. Repeat 15 times on each side.



Forearm exercise


If you’re using a tennis ball for the chest and shoulder exercise, then why not also use it to strengthen your forearm grip? Hold the tennis ball in one hand and squeeze it as tightly as possible for one to two seconds. Relax and repeat 15 times with each hand.



Tone those glutes


Sitting down for long periods is not going to result in a toned bottom. If you wouldn’t mind having a more sculpted behind then simply tense your glutes while seated. Clench the muscles as much as possible and hold for 10 seconds. Relax and repeat again up to 10 times.



Inner thigh squeeze


Simply squeeze your thighs together for 10 seconds. Relax and repeat for three sets.



Calf raises


With both feet flat on the floor, raise your heels high, putting your weight in the balls of your feet while tensing your calf muscles. Rock back on your heels to stretch the shins. Repeat as necessary.



A word of warning


While these in-car exercises are easy and safe for most people, be careful not to overstretch. Stop if you experience any pain. This is particularly important for those who have pre-existing neck, back or spinal problems. If in doubt, speak to a health professional before trying any new exercises.


A man with his hand over his shoulder experiencing pain

Don’t forget to breathe


All of these in-car exercises will work on your physical health but what about your mental health, too? Simple breathing exercise can help reduce stress, increase relaxation and promote well being.


This deep breathing exercise is perhaps the simplest to learn and work into your day-to-day routine. During the exercise try to get as much air as possible into your lungs. By taking deep rather than shallow breaths, you’ll breathe in more oxygen and become less tense.


  • Sit comfortably with a straight back.
  • Breathe in gently and steadily through your nose for five seconds.
  • Breathe out gently through your mouth for five seconds. Push out as much air as you can while tensing your abdominal muscles.
  • Continue to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth for between three and five minutes.



Out-of-car exercises


Getting out and walking around even during short breaks is a great way to work off any joint stiffness, tight muscles, and achy bodies.


Stimulating blood circulation and getting your muscles moving will mean that in just a few short stops, you’ll have a full body workout under your belt in no time. Result!





Sitting down for long periods can play havoc with hip mobility, and the best way to exercise them is with a set of lunges. The great thing is they not only strengthen and stretch the glutes but also the hamstrings, quads and even muscles in the ankle and core!


  • Stand up straight with your feet hip-width apart and pull in your tummy muscles.
  • Step forward on the right and try to make sure your heel hits the floor first.
  • Lower your body until the right thigh is parallel to the floor.
  • Lower the left knee on the floor, but keep your weight in the right heel.
  • Press into the right heel to come back up to an upright position.
  • Switch to the left leg and repeat.


There are loads of variations to the lunge including reverse lunch, lateral lunge, and even curtsy lunge.





This classic bodyweight exercise is a great way to build strength and stability in your chest, core, triceps and shoulders while out and about. It really can be performed anywhere and there are lots of variations to provide variety.


  • Place your hands shoulder distance apart on the floor.
  • Step your feet back into an elevated plank.
  • Bend your elbows 90 degrees as you lower your chest.
  • Exhale as you do the press up.
  • Repeat as necessary but be sure to keep the movement under control. Quality rather than quantity is the key when it comes to effective press-ups.



Downloading helpful exercise apps


It can be difficult to stay on track when it comes to fitness goals, particularly for those with busy working lives.


To give taxi drivers a helping hand we suggest downloading one of these popular fitness apps.


Giving drivers a shot of motivation and showing them how to exercise in quick and easy steps could be all the help they need.



Nike Training Club (available on iOS and Android)


It may be hard to believe but this great app from sportswear giant Nike is free.


Like driving around with your very own personal trainer, it features lots of high intensity workouts designed by professional trainers and athletes.


Drivers can use this app to train anywhere and anytime for however short or long they need. The workouts are suited to all ability levels and also include useful advice on nutrition and other health matters.


You can also use the app to set goals to help you stay motivated, and buy any extra equipment you need as you get the exercise bug.



Couch to 5k (available on iOS and Android)


This app has rightfully hit levels of cult-like devotion over the past year as it has helped hundreds of thousands of people build up enough endurance to run 5km. Taking around nine weeks, the app starts users off at a gradual pace, before upping the difficulty each week by extending jog times and shortening walk times.


The running plan takes you on a series of three runs every week guided by the original voice of coach Laura. But if you fancy a change then you get a choice of celebrities such as Jo Whiley, Sarah Millican, Sanjeev Kohli or Michael Johnson to help you on your way.


For drivers looking to get into running but not sure where to start, this app can help you get the training you need to succeed. You’ll be running half marathons in no time!


As with any sport it’s important to prevent and treat injuries effectively. Read this NHS guidance on sports injuries.


See more apps for professional drivers and get a quick quote for taxi fleet insurance here.


A man in running clothing tying up his shoe laces on a city street ready for a run

Get your taxi fleet covered


Keeping your drivers fit and healthy is just one part of managing a taxi fleet, you also need to make sure you’ve got appropriate taxi fleet insurance in place.


Taxi fleet insurance from Taxi Insurer is simple to arrange and is available for fleets of three or more vehicles. Whether you have a fleet of black cabs, minicabs, minibuses, or a mix of vehicles, it really doesn’t matter!


The specialist team at Taxi Insurer can help you find a policy to match all your vehicle needs for the right price.


Give our UK-based call centre a call and get a no-obligation taxi fleet insurance quote today.


Policy benefits, features and discounts offered may very between insurance schemes or cover selected and are subject to underwriting criteria. Information contained within this article is accurate at the time of publishing but may be subject to change.


Frequently asked questions


How do I keep a balanced diet as a taxi driver?


Maintaining a balanced diet as a taxi driver can be challenging due to the irregular hours and constant sitting. However, it's not impossible. Start by packing meals and snacks that are rich in fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains.


This will help avoid the temptation of fast food or unhealthy snacks. Remember to stay hydrated by keeping a water bottle handy. Try to eat small meals throughout the day to keep your metabolism active and energy levels high.


Pains in legs and back after a shift, what can I do?


Experiencing back and leg pain after a long taxi shift is common, but don't worry as there are several steps you can take to alleviate this discomfort. First, ensure your seat is properly adjusted for maximum support and comfort. Regular breaks for stretching and walking can also help.


Incorporating exercises that strengthen your back and legs into your daily routine may also be beneficial. It's essential to listen to your body and seek medical advice if the pain persists. Remember, your health is always the top priority, even on the busiest taxi shifts.