Driving the highway these school hols? Say no to arriving with back pain!
If you are anything like me you may be facing a long car journey this festive period, I am attempting the 10-hour drive to Torquay with 2 young children and a car jam packed with presents, buckets and spades and luggage!!!
As well as ensuring you have an adequate supply of snacks and fluids and the kids are entertained to minimise the ‘Are we nearly there yet?’ questions, it is important to ensure that you are sitting in a good position in the car to avoid a slouched posture which can contribute to low back and neck pain.
Here are some tips for a quick car seat check (also worth doing if you commute lengthy distances for work/spend a large portion of your day in the car - it's amazing the difference a slight seat adjustment can make)
Position the seat so that your hips are at 90 degrees flexion (at right angles to your spine). If you can raise your seat height to allow this then great, otherwise you could sit on a cushion/folded rug
The chair should be moved so that you can comfortably reach the pedals without tilting the pelvis- approximately a 120-degree knee bend is ideal
Use any lumbar support your car may have to preserve the neutral curve of your lower back and avoid flattening that curve. If your car doesn’t have an inbuilt support, you can use a rolled-up towel but be sure not to exaggerate the hollow
Keep your elbows towards your side and avoid rounding your shoulders. Instead focus on drawing your shoulder blades lightly back and down towards the spine
Avoid poking the head forward. Rest your head back on the head rest if comfortable to do so with the chin tucked in slightly
When you have set yourself in this position adjust your mirrors. If you start to slouch and get into a bad posture the mirrors will feel they need adjusting which will prompt you to sit back up.
Finally take regular breaks where able to get out of the car and have a stretch and a walk around- ideally at least every 2 hours.
Happy holidays and safe driving!