Do I Really Need That?
Whether it is heavily involved with your career, your daily commute or the extended road trip, by the end of the average week you have accumulated a lot of time behind the wheel of the vehicle. A good ergonomic setup can go a long way to enhancing both the comfort and effectiveness of your driving as well as your overall health and posture.
1. Properly Adjust Your Car Seat
The ergonomics of your car’s command centre, the driver’s seat, is the most important thing you need to get right in order to avoid discomfort and fatigue while driving. Luckily the car companies have already done a lot of work to make it easy for you to get it just about perfect. Unfortunately the vast majority of people don’t know how to properly adjust the driver’s seat.
2. Mind Your Posture
One of the most important ergonomic tips for driving is to always mind your posture. It is easy to slouch or roll your shoulders after a short time driving. This will cause you all kinds of pain and prolonged problems. Keep you back lumbar and shoulders supported. And make sure you hold the steering wheel. Don’t just rest your hands on it.
3. Don’t Sit On Your Wallet
You never really want to sit on your wallet. So if you are driving get in the habit of taking it out and putting it in the console before you leave.
4. Adjust Your Steering Wheel
Often the ergonomics associated with adjusting your steering wheel have more to do with making sure you can see all the dials and readouts on the dashboard than ensuring the optimal wheel position. And there is validity to that. But for the wheel itself you want to set it in a position so that it rotates with an up and down motion of your arms using the elbows and shoulders. If it is at too much of an angle to your body, your arms will have to move forward as they rotate. That engages the chest muscles and causes a lot of torque on your otherwise stationary torso which can cause fatigue and posture problems.
5. Adjust Your Mirrors
Set your side and rear view mirrors so that you have a full 180-degree view behind you. Set your mirrors while you maintain a strong posture. Line up your rear view mirror with the top of the rear window or some other reference point so that if you start to relax your posture and slouch you’ll be visually reminded of it.
6. Take Breaks During Long Drives
Take a break at least every two hours. Stop the car and get out for a short stroll. This relaxes the muscles used while driving and gets the blood circulating again.
7. Rest When You’re Done
When you are done with a long drive take a few minutes before you start unloading any luggage. Muscles, tendons and ligaments have tightened up and your blood flow is not the best. Give them some time to stretch out and recover before you start bending and lifting. Otherwise you may injure yourself.