The hidden danger of driving - sitting badly at the wheel

Thousands of drivers are suffering unnecessary injuries every day, but not as the result of drink-driving, speeding or other accidents.

Sitting in cars for long periods can cause long-term damage to the neck, back, arms, shoulders and knees, experts say.

At least half of high-mileage business drivers suffer from pains in their lower back from sitting — or slouching — according to reseachers at Loughborough University, who are now setting guidelines to prevent driving-related strains and injuries.

“Driving long distances is one of the worst things you can do to your body,” said Brian McIlwraith, an osteopath who specialises in car ergonomics. “There’s a tendency for you to be forced into a slumped position, so your back is bent, putting pressure on the hips, lower back and intervertebral discs.” Other potential dangers include stretching to reach steering wheels or pedals, and the way you pull yourself out of your seat, he added.

Musculoskeletal disorders are the most common form of work-related ill-health in Britain, with an annual cost of more than £200 million — and employees who drive more than 20 hours a week are at particular risk.

Source - Times

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