2017-08-21

Increase driver comfort with these helpful driving tips

An average truck driver spends up to 10 hours a day sitting down. Beat back pain with exercise, posture and the right cab temperature.

Back pain, a frustrating and painful health issue that many drivers on the road face each and every day. With the average truck driver spending up to 10 hours a day sitting down, it comes as no surprise that they are four times more likely to endure back pain than the average person. However, the mistake drivers often make is trying to treat the pain with ice or painkillers, instead of looking at what may actually be causing the pain and how to stop it happening. Back pain left unaddressed can lead to long-term or much more serious issues, and we don’t want that to happen! This is why we have put together three simple steps all drivers can take to improve their comfort whilst driving.

1. Exercise/stretching

Sitting in the same position for long periods can cause discomfort in the whole body, not just the back. Try to reposition every hour or so, this keeps the body moving and will definitely reduce aches and pains.  Your back can become especially uncomfortable when the spinal discs become rigid and painful from constant pressure diminishing the liquid cushioning between them.

A great way to reduce this is to incorporate stretching into breaks, and believe it or not one of the best stretches for the back is squatting. The stretch pulls apart the spinal segments, allowing the liquid cushioning to reform between spinal discs so sitting becomes much more comfortable again. By law, a driver has to take breaks regularly so adding this in really won’t affect your work. It is understandable for drivers to feel tired and lethargic and not even want to leave the cab when they are stopped, but walking around and stretching is so important and will leave you feeling less stiff at the end of a shift. 

2. Posture

The alignment of your back when sitting determines how much pressure is put on different parts of the spine. Slouching in a ‘C’ shape increases stress on the lower back and causes the drivers’ neck to push outwards to hold up their head. This puts unnecessary strain on the neck and back and could be caused by the way your seat is positioned. 

Seat design and positioning are hugely important for good posture, if possible ensure your truck seat has lumbar support and is angled back a few degrees so that your spine is in more of an ‘S’ shape than a ‘C’ curve. This reduces stress on the lower back as well as improving neck positioning. You could invest in a good pillow, or even place anything like a towel between the seat and your lower back to make sure your posture is not causing back pain.

3. Temperature Control

This may not be an obvious one, but constant changes in temperature can have a negative effect on your back. Cold temperatures especially will cause the back and neck muscles to contract to make you feel very sore and stiff if sitting in the same position for a long time.

The remedy to this is simple – keep your truck at the same temperature as often as you can. And if you have one, use the heated seat option on colder days. The heat will relax your muscles and reduce the likelihood of back pain.

Driver comfort is a main priority for Scania, which is why driver seats come with very generous adjustment options so all drivers can find their perfect driving position. Every control is within reach meaning neck movements needed are minimal. Twin air lumbar support, adjustable neck rests, seat cushioning and optional seat heaters are all further ways Scania seats can make your driving experience a comfortable one. Find out more about our vehicle technology here