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How to Sit While Driving

By Rachel Carver

We spend a lot of time driving. A 2016 AAA Foundation report states the average American logs about 17,600 minutes of drive time each year.

Many of us use ergonomic office chairs and invest in quality furniture for our living rooms. Because we spend chunks of time sitting still when we drive, we need to maintain good posture to avoid pain and discomfort. Here are some ways to establish a good driving posture.

Sit the Right Distance from the Wheel

Sitting too close to the wheel might not give your seatbelt enough time to react in a collision. If your airbag deploys, it needs enough space to do this without injuring your face or upper body. Conversely, sitting too far from the wheel does not give you proper control.

Most modern cars have comfortable seats. However, you still need to sit properly for a good view while driving.

  • Leaning back - Recline your seat to about 110 degrees. Leaning too far back gives you neck strain from looking down.
  • Find the right height - Your eyes should be about 8 centimeters (3 inches) above the steering wheel. Make sure you can still easily see your instruments and that you don't hit your head on the roof.
  • Make sure you can easily maneuver the pedals - Adjust the seat so you can work the pedals without your back leaving the seat. You also want your knees bent about 30 degrees.
  • Two-finger gap - You need a two-finger gap between the back of your knees and the seat. Touching your knees to the seat could cut off circulation in your leg.
  • Adjust the headrest - Your headrest should fit in the middle of your head. Make sure your head is not too far forward in order to prevent neck damage and whiplash.
  • Adjust your mirrors - You want to be able to see part of your car and traffic behind and next to you without straining your neck.
  • Have proper lumbar support - You want to feel an even pressure between your shoulders and hips in your seat. You can buy lumbar pillows if you need lumbar support.

Take Breaks

Sitting is the new smoking these days. Whether you are taking a long road trip or running errands around town, standing up and moving will keep your muscles from getting stiff.

Good driving posture gives you better visibility, better comfort, and faster reaction times. Following these tips will keep you comfortable and safe while behind the wheel.

To learn more about good posture, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Saint Peters, Mo.

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