Improve Your Driving Posture
By Sara Butler
You may think you know all you need to about proper posture. You know what you need to do to walk properly, sit properly, and even sleep properly. But what about driving posture. The chiropractors at The Joint Chiropractic see a lot of patients who suffer aches and pains as a consequence of the posture they practice on their daily commute. No matter how much time you spend in the car, whether it's 10 minutes or 10 hours, it's important to know how to position your body in the car.
Of course, one foot controls the gas and the brake, but what about that left foot? Well, your left foot should be on the little footrest in the upper left corner of the floorboard (yes, there's an inclined space just for your foot there). You should place it there when you can in order to help better support your back and hips.
Your seat should be positioned in such a way that results in about a 30-degree bend in your knees. You can further improve the way you're sitting by making sure there is a gap about the width of two fingers between your knees and the seat. That helps to improve circulation in your legs and feet as you drive.
Ever wonder how high your seat should be? Ideally, your seat should be at a height that allows your hips to be level with your knees. You can use a cushion on your seat to help reduce road vibration and keep your legs and hips healthy in the car.
Your Lower Back
Your seat should be at an angle of about 100 degrees to help avoid compression of the discs in your back. Newer cars also allow you to adjust the lumbar support in the seat that helps to support the arch in your lower back. If your car doesn't have lumbar support, roll up a towel or shirt to place between your lower back and the seat to help support your back as you drive.
The back of the seat in your car must reach your shoulders. If it doesn't, then you may have a car that's simply not the right size for you. It's worth your time to consider finding a car that fits you properly to help you stay healthy and free from pain.
Your Arms and Neck
Your shoulders should be back against the seat and your elbows should be bent to about 120 degrees. If you can't do that, then you may be too close or too far from the steering wheel. Your neck should be supported by the headrest too. If it's not, then you may have your head in a forward head posture as you drive that will cause you problems down the literal and figurative road.
You spend a lot of time in your car, so make sure you're spending it in the proper posture!
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Caldwell, N.J.