back pain is the beginning, a slipped disc the possible consequence. If you sit in your car often and for long periods of time, you should make sure you have a back-friendly car seat and the right seating position. How to recognize ergonomic car seats, which manufacturers offer such models, and how to adjust your seat so that it is actually back-friendly.
Conventional car seats are often anything but back-friendly. Anyone who spends a lot of time in the car should therefore consider an ergonomic car seat. – © petzshadow – stock.Adobe.Com
- germany has a back
- Working without back pain
- How heavy can workers lift and carry?
Back pain and similar skeletal and muscular complaints are the most common reason for absenteeism from work, according to a DAK study. in 2019, this accounted for 21.2 percent of diagnoses in sick leave, according to the data analysis of around 2.4 million employed insured persons. The causes are manifold. While office workers strain their backs primarily through sitting for long periods and in the wrong position damage, the problems for craftsmen are usually caused by heavy or one-sided physical work.
But working people don’t just strain their backbones at work. Also on the way there and during trips between the company and the construction site the back is affected. 40 percent of all german drivers sit behind the wheel for more than one and a half hours every day. Remaining monotonously in a conventional car seat is pure poison for the back.
The legs, the neck-shoulder girdle and the support muscles of the lumbar spine are particularly tense during car journeys. After long journeys, therefore, the muscles may cramp up and the car driver may briefly feel loses up to three centimeters of his height. What initially manifests itself as back, neck, shoulder or head pain, tension or difficulty concentrating can, in the long term, lead to serious complaints such as a slipped disc.
Since business trips are often difficult to limit, it is all the more important to equip vehicles that are used a lot with a car seat that is easy on the back and then adjust it correctly.
How to recognize an ergonomic car seat?
Conventional car seats are often anything but back-friendly, as they give the driver hardly any opportunity to adjust the seat position to individual needs. A good car seat is flexible. In order to prevent back pain and other complaints, drivers should therefore check whether the following eight minimum requirements met are:
- Is the car seat shaped to reflect the natural shape of the spine (slight S-shape)?
- Does the car seat have a fixed basic structure?
- Is the backrest sufficiently large? The back should not protrude beyond the backrest.
- Can the seat height and tilt as well as the length of the seat be adjusted??
- Are seat size and adjustment travel sufficient so that even tall or short drivers can adjust the seat optimally??
- Is the headrest sufficiently high or. It can be adjusted in height sufficiently? (upper edge of headrest = upper edge of head)
- Does the car seat have a 4-way lordosis support or a pelvic crest support to protect the lumbar region?
- Are all controls easy to reach?
There are also useful functions, which additionally increase the comfort while driving. For example:
- Adjustable side bolsters on backrest and seat cushion
- seat dynamics system
- Backrest headrest setting
- Climate package with seat heating and ventilation
- Massage function
- Comfort headrest
- Memory function that remembers the settings of several drivers
A decision-making aid in the selection of a car seat can be the tested for quality& recommended" its. This has been approved by the healthy back campaign (AGR) e. V. In cooperation with the bundesverband der deutschen ruckenschulen e.V. And the healthy back – better living forum e.V. Developed. AGR evaluates products using a catalog of criteria and also has them reviewed and tested by an independent panel of medical and therapeutic experts.
Back-friendly cars and commercial vehicles: these manufacturers offer seats with the AGR seal of quality
After a long period in which little was done in this area, some automotive manufacturers have now recognized the need for ergonomically designed car seats and offer suitable solutions for both cars and vans. The following car manufacturers install back-friendly car seats, that have been awarded the seal of quality by the healthy back campaign (AGR) e. V. certified:
- DS automobiles
A clear list from the AGR shows the vehicle models for which manufacturers offer ergonomic car seats.
Retrofitting an ergonomic car seat
For drivers who cannot afford or do not wish to buy a new car with an ergonomic car seat, there is the option of purchasing a back-friendly car seat with a massage function retrofitting car seats. The advantage of such a seat: if the vehicle is changed at a later date, the car seat can be taken with it. The following manufacturers offer AGR-certified car seats to fit a wide range of models:
- DS automobiles
Light commercial vehicles with back-friendly car seats
In their day-to-day work, craftsmen in the construction industry in particular are frequently and sometimes for long periods in light commercial vehicles on the way. In principle, the same selection criteria apply to these vehicles as to passenger car seats. Some manufacturers already offer their models with ergonomic car seats, such as daimler in the sprinter and volkswagen in the crafter.
Perfect seating position: how to adjust your car seat ergonomically
The best car seat is of little use if it is incorrectly adjusted by the driver. Here’s how drivers adjust their seats to be back-friendly:
- Slide your buttocks up to the back of the seat and adjust the seat so that your legs are slightly bent when the pedals are depressed
- Tilt the backrest so that the steering wheel can be reached with slightly bent arms (at an angle of about 110 degrees) and shoulder contact with the backrest is maintained even during steering movements
- Sit as high as possible. The correct seat height is reached when there is still a hand’s width of space between the head and the headliner
- adjust the seat inclination so that the upper thighs rest loosely on the seat surface and the pedals can be depressed without great effort
- Adjust the seat length so that there is 2-3 finger widths of free space between the back of the knee and the front edge of the seat
- Adjust the headrest so that the head is protected but the neck is not supported. ideal: top of head = top of head
- Adjustable side bolsters should fit the body without constriction
- The lordosis support supports the natural shape of the lumbar spine: the most important support area is that of the pelvis (belt line) – therefore always carry out the adjustment from bottom to top fre