Maintain a good driving posture for a healthy spine

Healthy bones and muscles are the key to maintaining our physical fitness. Driving can create significant stress on our necks and shoulders, and cause our spinal health to deteriorate and contribute to poor body posture.

A recent survey found that Singaporeans spend an average of nine hours a week driving on the roads, which is more than the time they spend on shopping or watching TV. This exceeds the roughly five hours spent on the road by drivers in the US. With that much time spent behind the wheel, it is imperative that drivers look after their posture.

At Esso, we formulated Synergy Supreme+, our best ever fuel, to help care for your car. For the drivers, here are some tips to help you maintain a good posture while driving:

 

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1) Align your bottom as close as possible to the backrest. The correct position is attained when your spine has achieved its natural shape – a gentle curve near the pelvis and shoulders that are not hunched.

2) Shoulders should rest as close as possible to the backrest. Make sure the steering wheel is easy to reach with slightly bent elbows. Shoulder contact with the backrest should be maintained when you manoeuvre the steering wheel.

3) Thighs should rest comfortably on the cushion seat and weight should be evenly distributed.

4) Ensure you can depress pedals fully without over-extending your legs.

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5) Maintain about 2 -3 fingers’ clearance between the edge of the seat and the hollow of the knee. If the seat presses unevenly against your legs, blood circulation can be restricted and cause discomfort.

6) The backrest of the car seat should ideally stop at about your shoulder height, while the headrest is positioned just behind your head.

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7) Set your mirrors to ensure you have a 180 degree view behind you while you maintain your ideal sitting posture. In this way, you will get a visual cue when your body slips into a bad position and you find that you are unable to view your mirrors.

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8) Take a break after driving. Take a few minutes to stretch out those muscles, tendons and ligaments before you begin unloading when you reach your destination. This gives your body some time to recover before you start to exert and lift any loads and minimise the risk of injury