• November 2, 2011
  • Katlin Owens

Driver Ergonomics

As someone who’s seated the majority of the day, you know all too well the pains of having a stationary job. From neck, back and shoulder pain to cramps and poor circulation, your body feels it when you sit all day. But why? When you sit, your pelvis rolls backward and the small of your back flattens out, increasing the pressure on the discs of the spine. If your seat is not adjusted correctly, you could develop pressure points in the buttocks and back of the legs, as well as muscle strain in the lower back. Using your foot to hold down the pedal for a long period of time may also cause stiffness and spasm in the legs and low back.

Here’s how you can you avoid this pain:

  • Tilt the back of your seat 110 degrees from your legs to reduce disc pressure and relax the back muscles.
  • Keep your suspension system in good working order. Adjust your seat and steering wheel properly. Make sure you can press the pedals without moving your lower back forward off the back of the seat.
  • Use a lumbar support. Even a properly-placed rolled- up towel will work.
  • Tilt your seat a notch or two back and forth every 20-30 minutes. This alters the direction of vibration on your body. Stay high enough to see the road!
  • Avoid slouching! Don’t adjust your rear or side view mirrors unless you have changed the tilt in your seat.
  • If you can, take regular rest/stretch breaks. Only 5 minutes per hour will suffice!
  • Within reasonable limits, shift positions regularly while driving.
  • People who work in driving occupations are often inactive and could gain weight. Being overweight increases the chance of injuring your lower back. Find active forms of recreation to keep fit in your personal time.

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