Driving Posture 101
Today we’re focusing on posture with insights from the likes of the RAC, Posture Direct, Jaguar and PhysioMed. So sit up, get comfortable, and relax.
Our health and mental wellbeing are one of the most valuable gifts given to us in life, now more so than ever. Because of our incredibly intuitive physiology, it’s easy to slip into harmful habits, knowing your body will do its best to recover. Though for lasting health, we should be more active in our attitude to self-care.
As a driver, starting with basic improvements to your driving posture will have a significant impact on your overall health. In fact, Dr Steve Iley, Jaguar Land Rover’s Chief Medical Officer advises,
“Stress is the body’s reaction to external stimuli or events. The stimulus causes us to release adrenaline which increases our heart rate, makes us breathe faster, tenses up our muscles and so on.”
4 Ways to improve driving posture today
Tip 1: Make the car do the work
Most modern cars have lumbar support, but there are plenty of other ways to correct posture too. Make sure the head rest and seat height are adjusted properly so you are comfortable when driving rather than tense, or straining to reach the pedals.
Tip 2: Buddy up
Just as you have a fitness partner to spot you when you’re at the gym, having someone review your posture is an ideal way to keep your body in check too. Grab a friend to help you, or better yet a qualified driving instructor or physiotherapist.
Tip 3: Stay active
Keeping your muscles warm as often as possible will stop your body from tensing up so quickly, and lower your stress levels. Try including neck exercises as red lights, and ankle rotations on breaks to remove tension from your calves.
Tip 4: Ditch bad habits
Make it easier for yourself to keep your posture on point. Empty pockets to ensure the weight of their contents is not making you slouch without realising. Consider investing in a back support to keep your spine straight.
When you’re driving full-time, you’re bound to experience some of this stress. So how can you use improved posture to keep healthy and calm?
Proper Physical Adjustment
Use the car to your advantage for better posture. Make sure the headrest is adjusted to fall in line with the top of your head, and the seat height is adjusted correctly. Hips need to be as high as your knees, while shoulders should be able to remain flush with the backrest, even as you turn the wheel.
If possible, change the position of the wheel to fit comfortably in your palms without obstructing your view. You should be able to easily reach the pedals without straining, but if not use a cushion to prop you up and decrease the impact from road vibrations.
We also highly recommend investing in ergonomic back support which attaches to your seat, to keep your spine aligned upright. View more ergonomic driving tips from the RAC.
Breaking Bad Habits
Learned driving habits won’t stop overnight, but you can practice being more mindful of the effect your habits may have on your posture. Here are some little changes you can make today:
Remove heavy items from your pockets and place them in the car’s cubby holders to protect your posture. This will help you keep your shoulders spread and spine straight for longer. It will also open up your chest, allowing you to breathe with ease.
Even though you’re sitting, get in the habit of being active where possible. Posture Direct advises doing neck exercises at red lights, to keep your neck and shoulder muscles warm to stop them tensing up quickly.
- You can also do this with your legs and ankles to reduce tension in your calves.
These are just a small handful of the posture changes you can make right now to have better overall health. For more tips, view this helpful Correct Sitting Posture: Driving guide from PhysioMed.
What are your best tips for keeping good posture as you drive? Let us know on Facebook or Instagram.