How often do you spend in your car a day? Research carried out by Loughborough University revealed that absence from work due to back discomfort was six times greater for those who drive more than four hours a day. In the same study, one third of all drivers reported that they had experienced moderate or severe discomfort in the low back in a typical week.
So what can you do to reduce the risk of pain or discomfort?
With about 80% of us experiencing back pain at some stage in our lives and much of this aggravated by poor posture whilst sitting down, it’s important to follow these tips to reduce the development of back pain.
• Wisely select your vehicle when buying, consider how the car fits you as an individual driver and how adjustable the space is. Use this Car Selection Checklist to help.
• Make sure you get out of the vehicle as often as possible, move about and carry out small stretches if you can and take a small walk.
• Vary your work activities as much as possible during the day if your work frequently involves driving.
• Take a break from driving every two hours, more if possible.
• Follow a posture guide to ensure you are sitting correctly, such as this Posture Guide.
• Make small adjustments to your driving position every couple of hours, including doing some mild movements whilst driving to keep your spine moving - this is crucial to maintain good spine health.
Car Selection Checklist
Vehicle Ergonomics and Best Practice Guide
Driving Position and Posture Guide
Driving Ergonomics Website