Driving you round the bend.


As any driver who spends a lot of time in the car will testify, driving takes its toll on the body.


Repetitive movements and vibration are two significant factors that negatively impact on the body when we are driving. Both can lead to muscle fatigue and musculoskeletal disorders.


General 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.


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 battlefield.


Driving issues.


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.


Changing places

Being 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 your thighs.
  • 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 hips.
  • 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 wrist level.
  • Don’t forget your neck. The neck should be in a neutral position with the headrest positioned centre of the head.

Following 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!

Good luck!

Mayfair, we care.