ARE YOU SITTING COMFORTABLY?
Car travel can involve extended periods of time in a confined fixed position, whether as a driver or passenger. British Chiropractic Association research shows back pain is often caused by poor driving posture. Here are a few tips to help:
- Ensure your buttocks are fully back in the seat. This is achieved by leaning forward and shuffling your bottom backwards as far as you can. The pedals should be easily reached with your knees slightly bent but ideally not too high with the seat at its highest comfortable position.
- The angle of the backrest and steering wheel should be adjusted with elbows flexed and shoulders relaxed when holding the wheel at about “9-to-3” or at “4-to-8”
- The back of your head (not your neck!) should be very close but not touching the head restraint which is essential to help avoid whiplash injury in the event of an accident. Check your car handbook but most often many people need to raise their restraint position, something Jeremy finds himself doing frequently when catching a ride from friends!
- Remain calm whilst driving! If you’re stationary and stuck in a jam, or at trafficlights it may help to think of relaxing, remember to breathe and to be aware if you are tensing. Commonly elbows, wrists, shoulders, buttocks, ankles can all tense unconsciously if we are not careful.
- A Backfriend from www.medesign.co.uk gives excellent support, is very well reviewed as a car support and helps keep the pelvis and spine in the correct position. It is light and portable and can then be used in a meeting, plane, cinema or simply on your sofa at home.
- Change your seat. Often sports seats give firmer support, (find a second hand one from eBay or a breakers yard and cheaper than a new car!). Research one that is comfortable and of course, fits your car. Ultimately if all your efforts to find a comfortable seat or driving position fail then you may need to buy a new car. Test the seats properly and don’t rush the purchase, ensure the seats are right! Ask for a 24 hour or longer test drive, hire or borrow a potential car. Sometimes buying 2nd hand with an exchange option can be a great way to ensure the seats are right.
- Ask Jeremy for a demonstration or trial of the Backfriend.Hopefully these tips will ensure you arrive at your destination pain free.