Your guide to understanding car ergonomics

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You’ve been told countless times throughout your life about why it’s important to maintain good posture. The world often tells us to stand tall, select our office chairs carefully and invest in mattresses that offer stability and comfort. But when it comes to car ergonomics, we often neglect the idea.

Interestingly, driving can actually cause a significant amount of stress on the spine and joints. It is particularly true during long commutes. It’s pretty common for us to overlook the importance of adopting proper driving posture and ensuring that our bodies receive the necessary support while inside the car.

So, let’s delve into the matter further to discover ways to fix bad posture, such as getting new seat covers, to help keep your body well-aligned and adequately supported every time you hit the road.

The importance of posture

Let’s take a moment to understand the role posture has to play in ergonomics. Embracing good posture has a remarkable ability to centre the body’s weight directly over your feet. It may seem like a simple act, but it can work wonders by alleviating strain on the joints, maintaining the alignment of the spine, and ultimately granting the gift of a pain-free existence.

Beyond its immediate effects, the merits of good posture extend to enhancing your balance. When you consciously adopt proper posture, you ensure that the body weight is distributed evenly, making it easier to maintain equilibrium.

The downside of bad posture

Now, let’s look at how adopting a bad posture can affect us. It’s an unfortunate reality that many individuals suffer from pain because of their sub-optimal posture. Back pain is often caused by sitting hunched over at a desk throughout the day and sitting slumped on the couch during the evenings. In time, this can create problems outside of back pain and discomfort can spread to other body parts, such as the neck, knees, shoulders, etc.

But that’s not it. Did you know that poor posture might also contribute to weight gain? 

Yes, the core muscles in our bodies play a pivotal role in keeping proper posture, and when these muscles are left inactive, they gradually lose their strength. Furthermore, slouching can unexpectedly impact your digestive processes, potentially slowing them down and introducing a host of gastrointestinal issues.

Understanding the importance of driving posture

You might be thinking, “alright I get it, maintaining proper posture is crucial while working and lounging at home. But what’s the deal with posture while I’m behind the wheel?”

This is a valid question, considering that our time spent in the car doesn’t usually exceed an hour per day for many of us. 

But in reality, every fleeting moment of poor posture can contribute to your discomfort. When the hours accumulate, they end up being quite substantial.

After all, the car isn’t only used for commuting to and from work. Grocery store errands, weekend getaways, those moments spent in line at the gas station or ATM, or even a quick run to pick up the kids; all of these seemingly minor activities can silently increase strain on your body.

The common issues with driving posture

Many of us need to pay more attention to proper driving posture. Ideally, the back should be straight, legs parallel to the floor, and hands at 10 and 2 on the steering wheel.

Yet, habits like cradling phones between shoulder and ear while multitasking or slouching while driving are common. Car seats often lack adequate lumbar support, leading to slouching, seat reclining, and discomfort.

Enhancing car ergonomics: the essentials

  • Back Support: Ensure every part of your back touches the seat for optimal support, minimising reliance on weaker muscles.
  • Lumbar Support Pillow: Utilise a lumbar support pillow to enhance lower back support and adjust seating position.
  • Hip Elevation: Counteract seat angles by using a cushion to elevate hips, promoting healthier posture and blood flow.
  • Seat Height Adjustment: Set seat height to align thighs parallel to the floor, with hips and knees forming 90-degree angles.
  • Seat Recline: Slightly recline the seat (100-110 degrees) for gentle back support, avoiding undue strain.
  • Headrest Utilisation: Ensure the headrest aligns with the upper part of your head, offering neck support and potential whiplash prevention.
  • Steering Wheel Distance: Keep a comfortable distance from the steering wheel that’s right for optimal posture. 
  • Mirror Alignment: Adjust all side mirrors to eliminate the need for awkward body positioning while checking them.
  • Stretch Breaks: Deal with discomfort during long drives with periodic stretching and movement breaks.

**Additional Tip – Invest in some Custom Seat Covers for Your Car

Yes, other than keeping the above instructions in mind, it’s also a great idea to buy custom seat covers. The best part about having them custom-made is that they not only enhance the aesthetics of your vehicle but also offer the opportunity to tailor the cushioning and support to your specific needs.

Ergonomically designed seat covers can provide the comfort and support necessary for maintaining optimal driving posture.

The Canvas Seat Cover Company – take charge of your car ergonomics

If you’re keen on personalised comfort and improved driving posture, The Canvas Seat Cover Company is here for you. We offer custom car seat covers that can not only enhance your car’s style but also provide tailored support to the spine.

Don’t take your well-being lightly, especially when you’re behind the wheel. Driving will be less painful and more enjoyable when you’ve upgraded your seat covers. And once you’ve done so, your body will thank you.