Best sitting position for health, safety and comfort
Ergonomics. Some car manufacturers get it right, some don’t. A while back, the first body part to cry foul on a long drive was the lower back. Nowadays, most cars, even economy ones, come equipped with lumbar support. The improved designs haven’t completely gotten rid of discomfort, an indication that there’s another player in how comfortable you sit – yourself. What can you do?
1. Take breaks
Irrespective of how comfortable a car is from its design to your effort, fatigue is going to set in at some point. Take regular breaks to ensure your concentration is at its highest throughout the drive.
2. Position your back
Push back into the seat as far as you comfortably can and make space for two to three fingers between the back of your knee and the edge of the seat.
3. Use the headrest well
This can be annoying, especially if you hold your hair in a ponytail. For a normal situation, the headrest should be between the top of the ears and the top of the head. It should just touch the hindmost part of your head. Proper positioning also prevents whiplash in case of a collision.
4. Position your mirrors
Adjust your side mirrors and driving mirror to avoid unnecessary neck exercises.
5. Pedals, steering wheel, height and lean
This is where everything comes together. You should be able to comfortably reach the pedals, ideally with your entire foot if need be. The legs shouldn’t completely extend when you fully press the pedal however.
While sitting back, shoulders touching the seat, your hands should have a 90-degree bend at the elbow if you place your wrists on the highest point of the steering wheel.
You should be sitting high enough to clear the steering wheel with your eye line but not so high that you are close to the roof of the car.
Set the seat at slightly over 900 lean. This avoids craning and pushing your back from the seat, maintaining a relaxed posture.
These are some steps that will help in keeping you comfortable and safe longer.