File picture: Jason Reed / Reuters.

London - Feeling pain and stiffness on long car journeys can be avoided by taking a ten-minute stroll during a rest break, research shows.

Taking a walk relieves pressure on compressed body parts, scientists say.

The researchers, from Nottingham Trent University, Imperial College and Loughborough University used a driving simulator and a treadmill to test the benefit of comfort breaks.

Participants took part in a driving simulation, which included the vibration of a car, for two hours with a ten-minute break midway through.

One group remained seated, while the others went for a ten-minute stroll on a treadmill. It was found that a stroll of ten minutes after a one-hour drive prevented feeling discomfort for a further hour.

This compared to just ten minutes for those who stopped the vehicle and remained seated, the Applied Ergonomics journal reports.

Professor Neil Mansfield, head of engineering at Nottingham Trent, said: "Getting out of the vehicle and taking a walk is the most effective method for relieving driver discomfort. Maybe drivers should rethink where they choose to park at service stations, as a longer walk across the car park is beneficial."

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