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How to Adjust Your Seat to Improve Driving Posture

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Slouching when you stand and slumping when you sit at your desk or behind the wheel causes serious damage to your body. And, since this damage adds up with every minute and mile you spend seated, it’s important that you take steps to correct your posture.

According to writer Chris Adams, a properly adjusted car seat will decrease driving fatigue and discomfort. Adams instructs that your seat should allow you to manipulate “the pedals with just your foot;” your thigh should be supported and relaxed, knees slightly bent, and legs un-scrunched.

“Your legs and pelvis should have ample ability to move and shift position without detracting from your driving,” reports Adams.

The tilt of your seat also matters.

“Tilt the seat so that it supports your bottom and your thighs evenly. You don’t want pressure points at the end of the seat. Make sure your thighs extend past the seat so that the back of your knees do not make contact if at all possible,” reports Adams.

Too much or too little recline can be detrimental to your driving posture as well.

“Recline the back between 100-110 degrees. This angle supports your upper body while maintaining an upright and attentive posture,” reports Adams. “If you don’t have a huge protractor handy then recline the seat so that your shoulders are no longer in line with your hips but are solidly behind them.”

Be sure you’re sitting at the right height. According to Adams, when seated you should have a quality lookout through the windshield, but your knees shouldn’t hit the wheel. Once you adjust the height of your seat, you might need to tweak the space for your legs, notes Adams.

Lower back pain is a common symptom of sitting too long, so paying attention to your lower back while you drive will improve your posture behind the wheel and help diminish bad back feelings.

If your seat doesn’t already have built-in support, Adams recommends investing in an aftermarket product.

“Adjust the lumbar support so that the curve of your spine is evenly supported. Make sure you don’t overdo it,” reports Adams. “You don’t want your S-curve being pushed out. Just a nice, gentle, even support.”

Before you settle in for a long (or even short) drive, adjust your seat properly to keep pain and weariness away.

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