If you're like the average guy, you spend 67 minutes each day behind the wheel of your car. And you have neck, back, and shoulder pain. This is no coincidence. Poor driving posture increases your risk of all three. Here's how to pain-proof your daily commute.
Empty Your Pockets
A wallet in your back pocket raises one hip above the other, twisting your spine and straining your lower back.
Use the lumbar support in your seat, or buy a back-support cushion. It helps maintain the natural curve of your spine. Also, suggests Alan Hedge, an ergonomics professor at Cornell University, tilt your seat back slightly to reduce pressure on your spine.
Apply a Spot Remover
Smaller blind spots mean you'll crane your neck less. Try this mirror-adjustment method from Tom and Ray Magliozzi, hosts of NPR's “Car Talk “: Set your rearview mirror as you normally would, then tilt it upward so you sit up straight. Lean your head against the driver's window, then set your left mirror so you can see the back corner of your car. Lean right to do the right mirror.
Disarm Your Armrests
If your windowsill or armrests aren't at a comfortable height, don't use them. “Think of your back as a long spring, ” says Hedge. “If you bend at the top, you apply force at the bottom. “
Close Your Window
Or open it all the way. Having the window cracked sends a breeze over your neck, causing stiffness as your muscles contract.
Follow the Rule of Thumb
Always keep your thumbs on the rim of the steering wheel. Hanging them over the spokes can lead to damaged and sore tendons.