Our bodies are designed to move. Muscles act like sponges; squeezing out blood when they contract and absorbing blood when they relax. This pumping action helps the circulation in and around the muscles. Static postures such as driving compromises this action. Muscles are often placed in a tensioned position but neither shorten or lengthen (known as isometric contraction). This leads to postural fatigue of the muscles and causes symptoms such as achiness and stiffness, particularly of the back and trunk muscles.
Take regular breaks, perhaps 5 minutes for every 30 minutes that you drive. Get out of the car and gently move your trunk from side to side and extend backwards.
Whilst driving, try to fidget every few minutes. Moving a little is much better than not moving at all and will at least give your muscles a brief respite.
Try and maintain a generally symmetrical position while you drive. A common bad habit is to have the accelerator leg rolled outward which places pressure on the hip and lower spine. The car seat should be firm and well-contoured to suit your body shape. Cloth/fabric seats tend to give better support to your back than leather or vinyl covers and enables the driver to maintain the correct posture while driving.
Where possible try and share the driving with a colleague. Make sure you adjust the seating to ensure a good driving position using our Step by Step driving position guide.
Adjust the seat and steering wheel as follows: