A lot of people drive for their jobs or when going away on holiday; this can be quite a distance. Long periods in the same posture when driving can cause cramping, stiffness, or even pins and needles. It can also exacerbate complaints such as sciatica and migraines, so having a correct driving position is essential!
Here are a few top tips about driving position and posture when you’re doing those long drives.
Seat height: Having an optimal seat height is important for the setup of where your arms and your lower body is in relation to the steering wheel and the pedals. It’s also important for your hips to be in line with your knees or higher. You should have good vision of the road so not having to move your head or bend your neck to see clearly. If you feel you’re still not in the correct position, a wedge cushion for your driving seat to boost you up can also help. It’s important to make sure your mirrors are at the correct height and position so you’re not straining your neck to be able to see the traffic behind you or around you.
Steering wheel and pedals: Your arms should not be locked out or completely bent. They should be in a nice comfortable position and your elbows should be roughly 120 degrees. Try not to hold the steering wheel one-handed at the top as this causes excessive rotation and overuse of the muscles in the shoulder. Adjust your seat so your knees aren’t getting locked out when depressing the pedals; they should be at a slight bend around 20 to 30 degrees.
Lower back: If your car has an adjustable lumbar support, set it so it suits you and feels comfortable. You should not be able to fit your hand between your back and the lumbar support. If you do not have a lumbar support, you can get ones that attach to your car seat. Some might fit better than others; it will depend on the design of your car.
Breaks: Take regular breaks while driving to reduce stiffness and cramping. This will also reduce stress and tension while driving. Also, after 2 hours of driving, concentration reduces, so you have slower reaction time to hazards on the road.
Here are a few great stretches to do in those breaks just to ease some muscle tension stiffness
Wall Calf Stretch