Are you sitting properly in your car?
Driving posture is so much more important than some people think. Taking a long drive and not sitting right can cause serious back pain – and potentially more permanent issues.
Most cars are not designed for the correct sitting posture but will offer a vast amount of adjustments so you can find your ideal position.
If the seat height is right, your hips will be at least as high as your knees. You need to find a balance with this – not being too short so you can still find the road, and not being so high that you have to bend your head down or to the side to see the road.
If you’re too low to see out of your car you can add a cushion to your seat to allow you to sit a little higher.
If your seat is in the right position you should have a two-finger gap between your seat and the back of your knee when your legs are at a small bend of around 20°-30° when your feet are on the pedals. Having your knees too straight can cause pain.
The tilt of your seat should be at around 10-20° so that your seat bottom is horizontal and you put less pressure on the bottom of your lower back/spine.
Many car seats have lumber supports in them. It’ll need to be adjusted until it sits comfortably in the natural arch of your back to support your spine. If your car doesn’t have one, it can be worth purchasing one to prevent a bad back.
Your feet should be relaxed with your heels on the floor and your right foot being able to move easily between the accelerator and the brake pedal. To do this, place your right heel roughly in front of the brake pedal so that you can easily adjust your positioning to reach either the brake or the accelerator.
The top of the head rest should sit in line with the top of your head – this way, the bulk of the headrest will be sitting in the middle of your head. If you’re also able to adjust it forward and back, sit your head in a ‘neutral’ position so that it aligns your ear lobe with your collar bone, and then adjust the head rest forwards until it meets the back of your head.
Steering Wheel and Arm Position
Steering wheel height should allow a clear view out of the windscreen while your palms are just a little lower than your shoulders when holding them in nine and three position. This will allow your arm to sit relaxed at roughly a 120° angle.
Once you have corrected each part of your body, you should look like the image below. Here are the points you need to remember when adjusting to the car.
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