Correct driving posture
Whether you are a commercial driver, drive long distances for pleasure or just use a car for popping to the shops poor driving posture can lead to a range of musculoskeletal problems, including back, neck, shoulder and leg pain.
Read on to find out how to correctly set up your driving position and some simple stretches you can do when taking a break.
Correct Driving Position
Raise the seat as high as is comfortable to allow for maximum vision of the road, but ensure you have adequate head room from the roof of the vehicle.
Move the seat forward so that your knees are slightly bent and that you can depress fully the accelerator and clutch pedals (your left knee should be slightly bent when the clutch is fully depressed).
Adjust the tilt angle of the seat cushion so that thighs are supported along the whole length of the cushion, making sure there is no pressure behind the knee.
Adjust the angle of the back rest to ensure that it is providing support to the entire length of the back. Make sure the seat is not reclined too far as this will lead to forward bending of the head and neck. Adjust the lumbar support so that it supports your lower back with no pressure points or gaps.
Adjust the steering wheel to allow easy reach aiming to have the elbows at an angle of 30°- 40°
A vehicle’s headrest is not primarily there for comfort – it is designed to limit movement and provide support for your head in an accident. A correctly adjusted headrest will help to protect you against whiplash injuries.
Adjust the head rest so that the top of the head rest is as high as the top of your head and tilted forward to be within an inch of the back of your head.
Taking a break
To avoid tiredness when driving the Highway Code recommends taking a 15 min break at least every 2 hours and no matter how good your posture, remaining in one fixed position for too long can lead to discomfort. Taking a break will allow you to move around so why not try the simple stretches below:
Tilt your ear towards your right shoulder and hold, then repeat towards the left side.
Bend your head forwards, moving your chin towards your chest and hold.
Looking straight ahead turn your head slowly from left to right and hold at each side.
Arms and chest
With your hands interlocked, turn your palms out stretch your arms forward and hold. Repeat with your hands held above your head.
To relieve tension shrug your shoulders up and down and roll them forwards and backwards
Legs and feet
In a sitting position, bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor. Push on the balls of your feet and allow your heels to rise.
In a standing position, stretch one leg out in front and rest your heel on the ground with your foot pointing upwards. Lean slightly forward, looking straight ahead, feeling the stretch along the back of you thigh. Repeat with the other leg.