Mind your posture while driving

Right Adjustment

Mind your posture while driving

With workplaces at considerable distances in the City, many Delhiites end up spending three to four hours driving back and forth from home. Professionals like cab drivers, driving instructors and those whose work involves a lot of commuting remain behind the steering wheel for even longer.

In that case, if one is not cautious about the correct posture while driving, it can lead to health problems such as lower back pain, stress and fatigue. However, right adjustment of the driving seat, the perfect gap between steering wheel and driver’s seat and correct arm position can reduce the risk of health issues.

Dr Sandeep Chauhan, Orthopedic surgeon at Artemis Hospital, says people who drive for long hours with wrong posture can face backache, pain in the neck area and even abdominal hernia which means pain and swelling in the abdomen or groin area.

“While driving, one’s position remains static while the person’s body goes through a lot of jolts, jerks and vibrations. A comfortable seat and right posture ensures that driving is less stressful for the person. Mirrors, seat, seat belt and back rest should be adjusted in a way that it does not lead to pain in neck or back,” he says.

According to him, a seat belt worn too tightly can choke the neck in case of an accident. Similary, if worn loosely, can do even more destruction. Steering wheel should also be held firmly, not tightly. Whereas the height of knees should be slightly lower than the hips while driving.

“Steering wheel should  be held in five to six ‘o’ clock position firmly with four fingers. That way hands and fingers are at rest. Very often people tend to incline the backrest
of their seat but that may round off the lower curve which leads to backache. In fact, back rest’s height should come to ear level of the occupant.

Feet’s position should to parallel to each other else there will be stress in thigh muscles,” says Dr Sandeep.

Cab drivers and driving instructors are the biggest victims of these common health problem. Maruti Suzuki recently organised a workshop on correct driving posture for its driving school instructors. Dr T C Gupta from Red Cross, who conducted the workshop, says the right driving posture would differ for each of us depending upon the height and structure of the body.

“The best is to adjust the seat at about 100 or 110 degrees. Sitting in right angle, i.e. 90 degrees, is not a comfortable position as it reduces the gap between the wheel and driver’s chest. Some people who are not able to sit straight, can use a cushion,” he says.

“Those with shorter height should shift the seat in a forward position for more comfort and better accessibility steering wheel, gear and break, clutch and accelerator. Taller people can shift the seat backward,” he adds.

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