Finally, the first long weekend of the summer! We yearn for sun, sand, water, and fun! The long weekend may also bring long drives, as we make our way to the beach or cottage. We’ve all endured the wrath of the car seat after hours in a vehicle. Even a comfortable, well-adjusted seat can cause aches after too many hours.
But what about professional drivers who spend the majority of their day driving? How do they avoid aches? What can we do to avoid starting off the long weekend with a backache?
- Adjust your seat, mirrors, and any other features to optimise support and comfort, before you start driving. Find a way to support the curve in your lower back so you are not slouched. Encourage your passengers to do the same.
- Remember to take regular breaks from driving. Try to stop every hour or two, to get out and stretch. (If you have a dog, it will thank you for the stretch as well!) Switch drivers if possible – passengers have more options for wiggling and stretching.
- Use a good sitting posture. Sit with your buttocks right at the back of the seat, adjust your backrest to support the low back curve, and try to keep your legs straight in front of your hips, and side-by-side. (Even a slight twist can lead to an ache on one side.)
- Move, slightly but often, during your trip. Stretch your neck, roll your shoulders, stretch and clench your fingers, and move your legs and ankles, when it is safe to do so. Make very slight adjustments to the angle of the backrest occasionally.
- Keep your arms relaxed, elbows at your side. The most relaxed driving posture is with the hands at the “8 and 4 o’clock” position, not “10 and 2”, as some of us were taught.
- Use your mirrors as a posture cue. Adjust your mirrors while you’re in a good sitting posture, and if you notice that you cannot see through the mirrors, there’s a good chance that you’re slouching.
If drivers in your company are reporting discomfort, let us help! We can:
– Provide a one-hour workshop to teach drivers how to adjust the driving compartment, and use best work practices.
– Conduct a sit fit to help an individual driver adjust the driving compartment and driving practices, and to evaluate his/her fit with the vehicle.
– Provide full day training for key resources at your company, so they can help other drivers adjust their vehicles, and help your company to select vehicles that will fit a majority of drivers.(2020 open enrollment dates not set yet, but we can run the course on-site for you.)
We hope you enjoy the holiday weekend. Wherever your travels may take you, may you find yourself safe and comfortable upon arrival!