Driving Ergonomics

Driver health

Prolonged exposure to driving cars has been identified as a risk factor for low back pain and other musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). Those who drive cars as part of their job, for example, sales people, are at particular risk. This risk is increased for those who drive for 20 hours per week or more (Porter and Gyi, 2002).carworkstation

Driving forces the driver to sit in a constrained posture. In addition, the car is increasingly being used as a mobile office (e.g. using a laptop and making telephone calls), which has associated health risks. Recent research has revealed that within a group of business drivers, 65% reported low back trouble, 43% neck trouble and 40% shoulder trouble (Gyi et al., 2003).

Research at Loughborough University has shown that interventions designed to prevent MSDs are most effective when they are tailored to the particular needs of an organization or occupational group (Whysall et al., 2005). Such interventions are often relatively low cost, but the costs and benefits of these for the company are often not directly quantifiable. loadingboot

Three leaflets: the 'Initial driving position and posture guide', 'Take the pain out of driving' and the 'Vehicle Ergonomics: Best Practice Guide' provide you with basic information regarding seat adjustment.