Sitting comfortably? Adjusting your van driving seatCraig Ellyard
Have you ever got out of the van at the end of the day with an aching back? Just put it down to the demands of the job? It could be as simple as having your seat in the wrong place. It’s something most of us won’t give a second thought to. But making sure your seat is correctly adjusted can save you a whole world of pain.
Builders Back, the rather colloquial term given to the aches and pains suffered by manual workers including van drivers, costs companies billions of pounds in the UK. Which isn’t surprising when you consider that over 60% of van drivers have taken time off work because of back pain.
Anything which can help reduce back pain has to be a good thing. And if it’s as simple as adjusting the seat then so much the better. After all, you can spend hours in your seat at a time so anything which makes it more comfortable or takes the strain off your back is to be welcomed.
Do I really need to adjust my van driving seat?
You may well be reading this and thinking ‘not me’. Fair enough. But bear with me for a minute or two. Especially if you suffer with aches and pains in your back.
I’m sure you have already adjusted your seat. But take another look.
The most common mistake is putting the seat too close to the steering wheel. But angling the seat too far back can also compound back problems.
So, how should you adjust your seat? Here’s a few pointers to try and help ease the back pain which can affect us all.
Adjusting your driving seat
A five-step process should see you right:
1 – Adjust the height
You probably don’t think too much about this. But the best height is when your hips are higher than your knees. You should also be able to use the pedals pushing them to the floor by bending your knees.
2 – Get the angle right
I mentioned earlier that the angle of the seat can be a big contributing factor to back pain. If the angle is too steep, you’ll put undue strain on your back. And your neck come to that. Start by bringing the seat upright and gradually reclining to about 100-110 degrees. Make sure you’re comfortable with the angle and you’ll feel the benefit after a long day.
3 – Use the lumber support
The best van seats will have a lumber support. This should sit comfortably in the small of your back. If you have to arch your back over it the lumber support needs repositioning.
4 – Don’t forget the head restraint
The head restraint should be positioned so the back of your head is squarely in its centre. A common misconception is that your head must be in permanent contact with the restraint while driving. This is incorrect. As long as it’s positioned correctly, you’ll get the benefit of reduced neck and back strain when you do rest your head against it.
5 – Final adjustments
Finally, ensure the steering wheel is positioned in line with your wrists which should be at 9 and 3 o’clock.
That’s it. You should be good to go.
The best van seats
Of course, adjusting the seat is one thing. But you also need to make sure your vehicle is equipped with the best quality ergonomic seats you can find. And the good news is that you can find the seats you need here at Alpha Seating – no matter which vehicle you drive.
If you’re looking for aftermarket seats or need to upgrade your van use our contact form or call us on 01455 856 816 for a no obligation informal chat.