Improve Your Posture on the Road!
By Sara Butler
A daily commute can do more than just annoy you, it can be a literal pain in the back, neck, and behind! Sitting for prolonged periods of time without changing position can place stress and strain on your lower back, making sitting uncomfortable. It also puts a lot of pressure on the discs that cushion the bones in your spine as well as the structures that support your back, such as cartilage, muscles, and ligaments. People spend a lot of time in their cars each day, but here are a few tips to help you improve your position and make your commute a little less painful!
The first thing to take a look at is if your hips are level. If you normally carry a wallet in your back pocket, then you should take it out when you’re sitting for long periods. It’s very important that your hips are even on the seat, not one side slightly propped up higher than the other because that could lead to problems such as lower back pain. Sitting on a wallet can also increase pressure on your sciatic nerve, causing pain in your leg.
It’s an easy problem to solve -- just make sure there’s nothing between your behind and the seat except your clothes!
Adjusting Your Seat
Many cars have adjustable seats that allow you to contour the seat to better fit you and support the spine. Make sure you’re taking advantage of these features by:
- Adjusting the height – Your hips should be level with your knees and you should comfortably be able to see the road
- Finding the right distance – You should move your seat forward so that you can easily reach the pedals without your lower back losing contact with the seat
- Recline your seat – The seat back should be at about a 100-degree angle
- Adjust the headrest – Ensure the headrest is sitting behind your head at about the middle
- Adjust the lumbar support – If your car seat has a lumbar support, adjust it so that your lower back is supported; if it doesn’t have this feature, roll up an old T-shirt or towel to do help
- Adjust the wheel – You should move your steering wheel toward you and down so that if your arms were extended out in front of you, your wrist is lined up with the steering wheel
Your posture is important no matter where you go, so practice these techniques to keep you safe and healthy!
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Albuquerque, N.M.