Why is driving different to ordinary sitting?
If your car isn't moving, then sitting in a driving seat probably isn't much different to sitting in a padded chair, but as soon as the vehicle starts moving things change. Unlike regular sitting, while a vehicle is in motion the body is subject to different forces: to accelerations and decelerations, to lateral swaying from side to side, and to whole-body up and down vibrations. Also, when driving the feet are actively being used, the right foot on the gas (accelerator) pedal, the left on the brake, and in a stick-shift also on the clutch. When the feet are active they cannot be used to support and stabilize the lower body as normally happens when they are placed on the floor during normal sitting in a chair. There is evidence that the combination of these factors, coupled with the design of the car seat itself, can increase the chance of back problems for some people Is there an ideal car seat design?
The optimal car seat should have
1. adjustable seat back incline (100 degrees from horizontal is optimal)
2. changeable seat bottom depth (from seat back to front edge)
3. adjustable seat height
4. adjustable seat bottom incline
5. seat bottom cushion with firm (dense) foam
6. adjustable lumbar support (horizontally and vertically adjustable)
7. depth pulsating lumbar support, to reduce static load
8. adjustable bilateral arm rests
9. adjustable head restraint with lordosis pad
10. seat shock absorbers to dampen frequencies between 1- 20 Hz
11. linear front-back seat travel to allow differently sized drivers to reach the pedals
12. seat back damped to reduce rebounding of the torso in rear-end impacts. What to look for in a good car seat design when you buy your next car.
1) Car seat comfort
- when you sit in the car seat and you have adjusted this to fit your body as best you can does it feel comfortable. If not, then the car seat will probably cause you back discomfort problems if you drive for any length of time. Bounce up and down in the seat to see how it accommodates vibration. Take the car on a test drive.
2) Car seat adjustments
- can you adjust all of the features of the car seat that you want to adjust? At a minimum you should be able to adjust:
a. Seat distance to accommodate different leg lengths
b. Seat height to accommodate different leg lengths
c. Backrest angle to sit in either an upright or more reclined position
3) Change your posture
- remember to move your posture from time to time. Wait until driving conditions are suitable to allow you to wriggle in the seat to alleviate postural fatigue.
4) Take breaks
- driving is tiring work and to avoid driver fatigue and minimize postural discomfort it is good take to fairly frequent rest breaks that allow you to stand up and move around.
5) Seat accessories
- you can choose a variety of car seat accessories that may improve seat comfort for you, from fleece covers to soften the seat to bead backrests to provide for some kind of back massage while you drive. Choose whatever you find adds to your driving comfort. Happy Driving!!
Source - Driving and Back Care