Is your van driving position affecting your health?
Have you found the right driving position in your van? It could be affecting your health
Many of us spend at least an hour in our vehicles every day, whether it's the school run, commuting or simply getting the chores done. But how many of us actually take the time to consider the effect our driving position may be having on our health?
Finding a comfortable van driving position is more important than you think. When you consider that back problems affect 4 out of 5 people with over 14 million people suffering from a repetitive driving injury, you start to realise how important your driving position is.
Your van driving position should be comfortable, flexible and suited to your body. Bad driving positions can result in repetitive driving injuries such as foot cramp, lower back pain, neck pain and even headaches.
So how do you find the right van driving position?
Fear not - the answer is pretty simple. You don't need a new car, some sort of special seat attachment or strenuous exercise. The first place to start is with a driving seat adjusted to the wrong position (for you). This will allow you to adjust it until you find a driving position that's comfortable for you.
Follow these rules to avoid a repetitive driving injury:
- Your seat should be far enough forward and your knee slightly bent when you fully extend the clutch pedal.
- Your seat back should be titled to 100-110 degrees to relieve pressure on your lower back.
- Your shoulder should remain in contact with the back of the seat when you turn the steering wheel.
- Tilt your seat so it support your bottom and thighs evenly.
- Make sure your things extend past the seat so the back of your knees aren't touching the seat.
- Adjust the height of your seat to ensure you can see the road, your mirrors and dashboard clearly.
- Your head rest should be placed slightly higher than your ears. Effective head rest placement can save your life in the event of an accident.
- Forget the 10 and 2 position, holding the wheel at 9 and 3 o'clock will relax your shoulder muscles.
- It sounds silly, but take your wallet out from your back pocket (if you keep it there). A twisted pelvis can put severe stress on your back.
- When driving for long periods, take a break and stretch at least every two hours.
Remember to follow these rules for the optimum driving position every time you get into a new vehicle or after someone else has driven yours. Repetitive driving injuries can cause severe pain.
If you struggle with your back and need a more comfortable van, check out the Vauxhall Vivaro. It features a six-way adjustable driving seat with lumbar support and an armrest to help you find your optimum driving position.
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