One of our workshop trainers Jacey is a qualified chiropractor (yes we all have great posture at Galmatic HQ) and has put together an article for us about the perfect seating position for optimum back care. Perfect for long hours in the car (and at the office desk)!
We all know we need to look after our backs when we lift heaving things, but we don’t tend to think too much about our backs when we are driving to the shops or heading out to see our friends. Unfortunately when it comes to the health of our backs, it’s not just the big things that count, the small repetitive things that can sometimes take the greatest toll.
Why is the perfect position so important?
The perfect position is not only important to ensure you are able to operate the vehicle safely, it is also essential to look after your back for the long term.
Your back has been designed to absorb daily shocks and vibrations. Similar to a good set of party feet for your high heels, the spongy discs between each vertebra provide specific level shock absorbance. During the day they do lose their water content thus decreasing their ability to do their job. As the discs do not have a direct blood supply, they need constant movement to stay plump and happy. Sitting in a car all day does not provide adequate movement for your back. The second way your back provides support is via the inward lumbar curve of your lower back. This curve acts similar to a large spring. When we sit in the car, it is very easy to allow our inward curve to straighten, thus losing its ability to spring.
By following these simple points you will ensure that your back is looked after and it can continue supporting you!
· When you get into your car, remember to readjust your seat EVERY time, as your posture will change throughout the day
· Ensure you are seated in the centre of seat with your bottom pushed back in the seat.
· Move the seat forward so your wrists can rest on the top of the steering wheel and your hips are at 90 degrees.
· In newer cars, adjust the lumbar support to ensure you maintain your lumbar curve. If your car does not have an adjustable lumbar support, there are specific products that you can purchase or you can use a rolled up towel to offer support.
· If you are driving for an extended period of time, do get out and walk, move and stretch.
· Keep hydrated.
· Try and keep your stomach muscles switched on.