Page 10 - GOODBACKGUIDE.indd

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Our bodies love to move. Muscles act like
sponges ; squeezing out blood when they
contract and absorbing blood when they
relax. This pumping action helps the cir-
culation in and around the muscles. Static
postures such as driving compromise this
action. Muscles are often placed in a ten-
sioned position but neither shorten or
lengthen (known as isometric contraction).
This leads to postural fatigue of the mus-
cles and causes symptoms of achiness and
stiffness particularly of the back and trunk
Step-by-step driving position guide
Adjust the seat and steering wheel as
Raise the seat so that your head is a hands
width from the roof of the car.
Move the seat forwards so that you can
fully depress the brake and clutch pedals
but still have a slight bend in the knee at
their most lengthened position.
Adjust the tilt angle of the seat base so it
supports your thighs along the length of
the cushion.
Adjust the seat back in to a slightly reclined
position as this provides more support to
the whole of the back.
Adjust the lumbar support to fill the natural
curve of the lower back.
Adjust the steering wheel so that your el
bows are slightly bent when the hands are
placed at the ’10 to 2’ position. Ensure you
can see the dash dials when you’re in the
correct seating position.
Adjust the height of the head rest so that
the top of it is aligned with the top of your
Make sure that your side and rear view
mirrors are reset with this new seated
There are strategies that can be
employed to avoid or reduce
postural fatigue:
Take regular breaks, perhaps
5 minutes for every 30 minutes
that you drive. Get out of the
car and gently move your trunk
from side to side and extend
Whilst driving, try to fidget ev-
ery few minutes. Moving a little
is much better than not moving
at all and will at least give your
muscles a brief respite.
Try and maintain a generally
symmetrical position whilst you
drive. Common bad habit is to
have the accelerator leg rolled
outward which places pressure
on the hip and lower spine.
The car seat should be firm
and well-contoured to suit your
body shape. Cloth/fabric seats
give better support to your
back than leather or vinyl cov-
ers and enables the driver to
maintain the correct posture
while driving.
Where possible try and share
the driving with a colleague.
Make sure you adjust the seat-
ing to ensure a good driving
position using our Step by Step
driving position guide :