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Posted on 11-06-2015
Drive Like a Race Car Driver....Not an Old Lady
I can see it clearly as if it were yesterday, I'm 6 years old, and in Florida. And my grandmother is driving a big Lincoln Continental up the street. All that's visible is a puff of white hair peering through the windshield. I remember thinking, “how can she see over the wheel?” She had gotten to a point where driving that big car was just plain dangerous, as was driving in general for her. But she was determined and I still remember that to accomplish the task she was hunched forward in her seat, craning her neck forward to see as well as she could, and doing a fine job by all accounts. But that position just didn't look comfortable, let alone good for you. Head forward, shoulders rounded, perched forward on the seat to reach the pedals. Now I know that most people aren't driving around in the extreme position like my sweet old grandmother was, but I bet most are using some of her bad habits when they are driving everyday.
Now let's compare her driving posture to that of a race car driver. Shoulders back, seat up and forward enough that they don't have to slouch to comfortably work the pedals, head rest positioned behind the head, head firmly in place. Most people don't spend as much time in a car a professional driver, or as little as my grandmother did, you are somewhere in the middle of that spectrum, and so is your driving posture.
Poor posture while driving can contribute to a whole host of physical ailments. Headaches, neck pain, low back pain, piriformis syndrome, upper cross syndrome, arm and hand numbness, just to name a few. Good posture while driving and good stretching to counteract tight muscles from long drives can keep you healthy and feeling good, little changes can make a huge difference. Implementing "Red Light" chin tucks for example can make a huge difference, (I'm talking to you John!). So next time you are driving take a look at your own posture and ask yourself, “Am I driving like an old lady, or a Race car driver?”
Please add a comment to Share your story and experience with driving posture.
-Dr. Ryan Curda
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