any driver who spends a lot of time in the car will testify, driving takes its
toll on the body.
movements and vibration are two significant factors that negatively impact on
the body when we are driving. Both can lead to muscle fatigue and
discomfort and lower back pain are frequent complaints that are reported by
drivers as well as foot cramps, stiff neck, sore shoulders from poor posture,
stress and tension.
when driving is a big issue with today’s helter-skelter motorways and a roads; everyone
rushing to be somewhere at a certain time whether that is school run, business
appointments, deliveries or shopping trips. The roads can be like a
Even though you’re in a seated position you are performing several repetitive movements.
Your hands are on the steering wheel forcing your arms into an unnaturally high
position than for other activities such as working at a desk. To operate the brake,
clutch and accelerator pedal you have to extend your legs forward at regular
intervals with feet at an angle. With a manual vehicle you have the added
movement involved in using the clutch and gearstick.
When driving a car over uneven or pot holed roads (road surfaces are an
increasing problem in today’s world), your body will experience the vibrations
up, down or sideways movement. The force on your body will depend on the speed
of acceleration of deceleration.
comfortable and well positioned in the vehicle can help reduce the negative
effects of driving and minimise the risk of injury. Here are seven tips that
may help you drive more ergonomically.
- Raise your seat to allow maximum vision of the road
and ensure that there is adequate clearance between your head on the roof.
- Knees should be bent to comfortably operate the accelerator,
clutch and brake. Check that the steering wheel doesn’t come into contact with
- Thighs should be supported along the length of the
seat while avoiding pressure behind the knees.
- Invest in a backrest that gives support along the
length of the back and allows your shoulders to be positioned slightly behind
- The lumbar support whether adjustable or not should
provide comfort with no pressure points or gaps between spine and the car seat
and S sheep spine is a safe shape.
- Adjust the steering wheel to ensure elbows and
shoulders are in a relaxed position with hands put positioned below shoulder
level. A good test is when you put your arms straight in front (above the top
of the steering wheel), the top of the wheel should sit approximately at your
- Don’t forget your neck. The neck should be in a
neutral position with the headrest positioned centre of the head.
these tips will reduce some of the effects of driving long distances but do
remember to stop on a regular basis and don’t wait until you feel tired – that
might be too late!