Look for These Items on a Test Drive to See If the Car Seat Supports You

Between commuting, running errands, and commuting or vacationing, you spend a lot of time sitting in your car. With this checklist, make sure your seat supports you properly.

A comfortable and supportive seat helps to reduce stress (and therefore pain) on the body, especially on the back and legs. If you buy a new car, next time you test drive, check each of these areas to make sure you are comfortable with the new ride.

  • Is the seat comfortable (if possible, ride for about an hour)? Is there enough headroom so you don’t slouch or bump your head if the car runs into ruts or potholes?
  • Does the seat support all of your hips and all parts of your back along its entire length?
  • Can you adjust yourself:
  • seat height from floor, seat cushion angle, seat back angle and distance between seat back and steering wheel?
  • Is the length of the seat bowl (seat cushion) adjustable? The distance between the front of the seat cushion and the back of the driver’s knee should be approximately 2-3 fingers. If it is too long, it will put pressure on the back of the knees, cause discomfort, and may interfere with proper blood circulation in the legs and feet.
  • Is the seat shape (cushion) shaped to better distribute weight on the seat and prevent or minimize pressure points on the buttocks?
  • Is most of the seat upholstered with breathable material (for thermal comfort)? The edges of the seat shell and backrest can be trimmed with plastic or leather to minimize wear and tear and facilitate sliding in and out of the seat.
  • Is the seat bowl material ribbed? The horizontal ribs on the seat cushion help prevent sliding forward, and the vertical ribs on the back help prevent lateral movement.

While these questions are for those thinking of buying a car, you can also use them to find out if your current seats are comfortable enough. If your current location doesn’t work in some of these areas, there are a few changes you can make to make it more convenient. For example, if you don’t have 2-3 fingers space between the front of the seat cushion and the back of your knee, add a cushion to the seat back that pushes you forward while supporting your back. For more tips on the ergonomics of your vehicle, follow the link below.

Driving and Ergonomics | CCOSH


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