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Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Driving Pains

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Commuting isn’t for everyone, but for some, it can be a welcome time to enjoy some coffee, catch up on some radio news, listen to music, and just sit for a while.
… sometimes, a long while.
Yes—there’s the rub. Traffic can extend a commute well beyond the “welcome down time” window, and sitting for extended periods of time can get uncomfortable physically. Many commuters experience back pain, leg pain, stiff neck, and other driving-related discomforts.
The good news is, a few minor adjustments to posture and seating can alleviate many of the problems.
First, you should never make an adjustment that lessens your ability to see the road in any way—including through the windshield, back window, and front and side mirrors. With that said, here are some small, ergonomic adjustments that can make a big impact:

  • Don’t sit on your wallet. If you keep it in your back pocket, remove it before sitting to drive.

  • Adjust the seat so that your hips and knees are the same height and your upper leg is parallel to the ground.

  • Adjust your lumbar support so that you have evenly distributed support for your whole back.

  • Make sure you can fully depress the pedals while keeping your lower back touching the seat behind you.

  • Bring your steering wheel closer to you to minimize reach, which can strain your upper back and neck.

  • Be mindful of your grip—don’t grip the wheel too hard, and hold hands at a “9 o’clock” and “3 o’clock position.”

All of these minor adjustments can add up to a much more confortable commute.  Now, if only there was a minor adjustment to speed up traffic!

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