Friday, October 26, 2007

The ergonomics of driving

Driving position important to comfort ...

"If you're heading out of town this weekend, chances are you'll be driving.

Chances also are the way you sit in your car -- especially on long drives -- will have a noticeable impact on your body. Everything from how your mirrors are set up to where you put your hands on the wheel play a role in how you'll feel when you eventually step out of your car.

"Most people drive, and so many people feel pain from driving," says Shona Anderson, a certified Canadian professional ergonomist and owner of Calgary's Anderson Ergonomics Consulting Inc.

"I do a lot of ergonomics for driving in industry -- oil companies, for example. They notoriously have back and shoulder pain," she says. "I've even had people call me because they've gotten a new vehicle and need help because it's just not comfortable."

Even if you don't drive for a living, logging long hours in the car on an extended drive can cause muscle tension and soreness, especially in the upper back and shoulders.

To make sure you have the right setup when you hit the road this weekend, Anderson provides the following tips. Follow the instructions, which range from before you start driving to once you arrive at your destination, to give your body the best chance at feeling good this long weekend.

After all, who wants to be sore for a weekend in the sun?

Driving in comfort

Before you get into the car, you should always take your wallet out of your back pocket. "Putting a wallet in the back pocket puts a lot of pressure on the lower back because it raises one side of the pelvis and puts it in a bit of a twist," says Anderson.

Now that you're sitting, check to see where your knees are in relation to your hips.

"Ideally, people's knees would be at the same level of their hips or slightly lower," says Anderson."    (Continued via driving.ca)    [Ergonomics Resources]

Driving Ergonomics - Ergonomics

Driving Ergonomics

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