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6 steps to better posture behind the wheel

4/7/2020

6 steps to better posture behind the wheel

Truckers spend a lot of time sitting down. This can lead to some real problems in the back, neck, hips, knees, shoulders and more. However, those troubles don't have to be a fact of life, and if you make just a few small changes to your cab, you'll be able to improve your posture and reduces the aches and pains you've likely dealt with for a while.

Those changes include the following simple steps:

1) Adjust your seat

One common issue that leads to poor posture in truckers is  they don't have their driver's seats set up to encourage good posture, according to Suburban Seating & Safety. In general, experts suggest you position your seat as high as possible so you have a good view of the road, and then position your seat back upward so you're sitting with your back at a very slight backward angle. You may also need to shift your seat forward so you don't reach to grip the steering wheel or extend your legs too far to reach the pedals.

2) Stretch more frequently

Even if you keep your chair perfectly positioned, spending a dozen hours or more per day behind the wheel will take a toll on your body, and it's important to stretch, Suburban Seating & Safety noted. That should happen every time you get out of the truck, but you can do stretches while you're behind the wheel as well, including those for your shoulders, arms and even torso.

3) Move the steering wheel

Much like you're moving the seat itself, you should also shift the steering wheel so that it's in a more comfortable position for you, according to BigRoad. You don't want to be right up on it, but you also don't want to be too far back from it, either. Ideally, you should be able to hold your arms in a sort of "L" shape and be able to firmly grip it with both hands, and positioned so that it points at your chest.

4) Shift the headrest

Once you've done that, you should also make sure your head is properly supported, BigRoad advised. If you can, move your headrest so that it is right up on the back of your head, and if possible, you should tilt it so that it also supports the back of your neck.

5) Keep your feet flat

If you find yourself moving your left foot around when you don't have to change gears (or if you have an automatic transmission) that's usually not a good idea, according to Truckers Logic. As a general rule, you should never misalign your hips and pelvis by putting one foot on a different level than the other; keeping that left foot flat on the floor will help you reduce stress on your body.

6) Invest in the right cushions or supports

Finally, if you find all these changes aren't enough, even after making necessary tweaks here and there, it's usually a good idea to invest in cushions or lumbar supports, Truckers Logic said. Doing so will help add just a bit more protection at a low cost.

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