Driving Ergonomics and its impact on Health

Driving Ergonomics and its impact on Health

Sitting behind the wheel of a car for 10-12 hours at a time has all sorts of hazards. The physical problems include pain in your feet, legs, calves, thigh muscles, knee, hips or lower back. Your body gets tired and grows weaker if you do this day after day, year after year. Your posture isn’t as good and this can also cause immense frustration because of the pain you feel but you don’t know how to prevent it from happening and you can’t afford to stop driving.

One main reason is because you don’t sit properly when you drive. To control your brake and accelerator foot pedal, you sit on the base of your spine. Your leg must be close enough to reach the pedals but it’s not always on the pedals so it does get time to rest. Your heel is on the floor so the tip of your foot can hit the pedals whenever needed.

This is where the problem starts and it’s the other main reason. It’s natural for your knee and part of your leg to drop to the left or right, depending on which side of the car your steering wheel is. (Countries do vary.)

To keep your leg in position to use the pedal, you must consciously use your knee and thigh muscles. If you’re driving in thick city traffic, you’re always stop-starting so your foot and leg need to stay in the same position. This causes added stress to your knee, leg and thigh muscles.

A small percentage of drivers put their whole foot on the pedal. The others rest their heel on the floor and use just the tip of their foot to control the brake and accelerator pedals. Each causes additional problems. If you’re constantly lifting your foot, your leg must always be ready and can’t rest for long.

If you use the tip of your foot, you may rest your heel but you’ll still need to focus on keeping your leg straight so you can hit the pedal when needed.

These problems are faced by “typical” drivers. Now let’s compound the problem by looking at professional drivers such as taxi drivers, couriers, limo drivers, police and so on. They spend countless hours behind the wheel and do an average of 200 to 400 miles per day. The stress on their bodies is much worse than that of the average driver, who can still cripple himself if he’s not careful.

Although there are lots of bad aspects to driving, there are also certain ergonomics tools that can be used to help relieve stress and strain on your lower limbs. There’s a great product currently on the market which acts as a leg rest. You set it so your leg is lined up with the pedal while resting comfortably on it.

This simple tool will enable you to rest your leg without having to move it every time you need to use it. It can stay ready for action but still be resting at the same time. That’s an ergonomic dream come true for drivers everywhere, especially the poor souls that have to tolerate the pain and discomfort for hours on end while trying to earn their living by driving.

So if you drive a car, don’t keep putting unnecessary stress on your leg when there’s an easy tool to remedy the situation that will save you a lot in pain and possible medical bills down the track. An ounce of prevention and comfort is worth far more than a pound of cure and pain.

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