6 Important Tips For Proper Driving Posture

6 Important Tips For Proper Driving Posture

Why is driving posture important?

Although we use the term “driving posture” it doesn't only affect those behind the wheel. Everything you will read below also affects you - passengers in the car, the bus, the tram, the subway and the plane.   

Never in the history of mankind has there been such a sedentary way of life as it is today. Modern man spends about 70% of his day in a sitting or lying position. Unfortunately, in Europe and America, these percentages are much higher and this is unlikely to change. From an evolutionary point of view, we need to adapt to the changes that have occurred in order to survive.

As usual, we will start with the topic of health, because it is the one that excites us the most. How does the way we sit in the car affect our health, and why do we need to have a proper driving posture?

With a correct position of the body the chest remains anatomically open and the organs are located in their respective quadrants and the intra-abdominal pressure is normal. 

Just a slight forward lean can increase this pressure significantly, which would feel like a press pushing the organs down into the pelvis. If we have a correct driving posture the spine and joins will be protected from stress and the muscles will retain their elasticity. 

We will breathe better, digest better, feel better and forget about back and neck pain while driving forever, if we just change the way we sit in the car.

Another issue is security. The car seats have special ergonomic design that adapts to the curves of the body. They are designed not just to have a place to sit, but to ensure safety in the event of a road accident. 

In order to be put under operation they pass numerous tests in order to be able to give a guarantee to customers that, when sitting currently on the seat they are maximally protected from the injury. An indisputable fact!

Common mistakes people make with their driving posture

Mistake #1

One of the most common mistakes drivers make is to pull the seat too far from the steering  wheel. From the position you have to extend your arms far forward to reach the steering wheel and this over stretches the muscles of the shoulders girdle and every turn puts stress on the shoulder joints. 

After a while, you begin to feel discomfort in your shoulders and neck and loss of proper posture when sitting and standing.

Mistake #2

Do you sit in the car or lay down in the car? We have all seen the combination of mistake one and mistake two - lying down drivers. 

When you are not used to driving like that and you try, you experience an incredible horror for just a minute. We can abstract from the fact you  see almost nothing of what is happening immediately in front of the car, but the strain of the heavy load on the coccyx and lower back signals to us that something is wrong.

You are sitting on the edge of the seat and you have let your spine down without any support. At some point gravity takes over and you start to feel pain in your lower back.

Mistake #3

You drive with one hand. This type of driving can lead to serious spinal distortions. When you hold the steering wheel with only one hand you unconsciously shift the weight of the leading hand and the body twist. 

The longer and more often you sit in this position the more difficult it will be to correct your posture afterwards. This rule will also apply to leaning the arm against the window, as well as to any other prolonged relaxation on one side.

Mistake #4

Another common mistake is sitting too long. And we are talking about sitting in general both in the can and in the office. 

Sitting for too long can cause varicose veins, heart and respiratory problems, and scientists even say that our brain health and ability to concentrate are affected by movement, meaning that the more time we spend sitting, the less our ability to concentrate.

 Like losing focus during long hours of driving or after hours in front of the computer.

Mistake #5

Never lean back on the seat. This is a typical mistake of young drivers, because they don't yet have the necessary observation of experienced drivers and are alert to a possible situation on the road.

Very few people have not gone through this stage of driving. But depriving your back of support has two downsides to consider.

First of all, the muscles that support the position will begin to strain and tire too quickly and the likelihood of pain is very high.

In second place is safety in the event of a road accident. The spine is not supported and is not stable. Even the slightest impact of the car can cause serious damage to the spine, which would not happen if you were leaning on the back of the seat.

Tips for proper driving posture

Tip #1

Choose a suitable car. If you have back problems choose the car with automatic transmission. Pressing the clutch in manual transmission cars affects both the spine and the entire left half of the body.

When driving for a long time in an urban environment, where a constant change of gears is required, the load of the knee, hip joint and the spine increases many times. 

The muscles in this half of the body contract harder and longer to reduce the load of the joints and ligaments and an imbalance between the left and right halves of the body is gradually formed. Buying a car with automatic transmission avoids the whole process.

Tip #2

Adjust your seat! Perhaps this is the most important tip to remember and use. The seat back should be upright or slightly tilted back - this position prevents the pelvis from sliding forward during prolonged sitting and reduces the impact of vehicle vibrations of the spine. In the correct position, you should be able to easily reach the pedals.

Also, adjust the height so that when sitting the level of the hips is higher than that on the knees by at least one centimetre and when pressing the pedal the leg remains slightly bent at the knee.

Adjust the headrest. To avoid whiplash injuries it is necessary to place the backrest in line in the head, but not lower the eye level.

Tip #3

Choose a car with seats upholstered in damask instead of leather. The body and leather seat lack the necessary grip and the body slides down or twists sideways from the vibrations from the car.

 On the other hand, the body on damask or similar type of material that is used on new cars has good grip and does not allow international rotation or sliding of the body.

Tip #4

Try to change the way you get in and out of the car so you don't twist or contort your body. You have seen at least one Hollywood movie with a scene where a lady or gentlemen get out of a car with such grace that you want to open the door the next time you pull up to a nice restaurant and get out of the car with such light and graceful movement. 

Try this: When you get into the car, sid sideways, then swing your body forward, placing your feet in the car one at a time. When you get out of the car, do the opposite - first turn your body towards the door, then step forward and stand up.

Tip #5

Also adjust the way you sit in the car. Once you have adjusted the seat, you need to adjust your body position when you are on it. 

Always sit as close to the backrest as possible with your back straight. Buttocks and almost all of the legs should be on the seat. Lean back and relax your back and shoulders so that your entire back, but especially your lower back is snug against the back of the seat.

Place your feet on the pedals - knees should be slightly bent. Place your hands on the steering wheel - your back should not move from its position and your elbows should be slightly bent. It is permissible for the head to remain a few centimeters from the backrest. This is the correct driving posture. 

Tip #6

Take regular breaks. Even if you maintain proper posture, your body needs regular repositioning. This rule applies not only for driving, but also for all cases where the body maintains the same position for more than three hours.

The Road Traffic Act stipulates that every 4 hours of driving, drivers must rest, with the first break being 15 minutes and the second or each subsequent break at least 30 minutes and in both cases must be outside the vehicle, for example in a populated area or at a gas station. 

During rest, walk around and move your neck and back with simple exercises such as turning your head in all directions and gently tilting your body forward, backward and sideways.


The main concern for your spine is to maintain its natural curves. Any position that changes them - from an incorrect driving posture to an uncomfortable sleeping position - increases the load of the spine. 

Sometimes with very little effort, big results can be achieved. And when your lives change, we need to change with it. Creating new habits or changing old ones to stay in good health for the rest of our life.

Correct posture means your body follows its curves. An overly straight back position, as well as slouching forward, put almost equal strain on the spine. Bad posture can quickly become a habit and over time the muscles and ligaments of the spine will lengthen or shorten and this body position will become natural for you.

Good habits - correct posture, getting in and out of the car, sleeping position, good weight lifting techniques and exercises that strengthen the back and increase its flexibility will minimise the risk of injuries and back pain.