Have you been tired and achy lately but don’t have the flu? Do you get headaches or feel a lack of concentration after spending a long time on the road? If so, you may see some improvement just by paying attention to the ergonomics of your truck. Truck Driver Ergonomics is a science that marries the technology, design and placement of your equipment to maximize your safety and comfort. Since most drivers spend hours a day in their equipment, a few adjustments can go a long way towards reducing soreness and improving alertness.
Truck Driver Ergonomics
Let’s assume you don’t have the clams to shell out on a new seat decked out with all the bells and whistles, or perhaps you don’t own the truck you drive on a daily basis. You can make a few simple adjustments to what you have and see instant results.
First, make sure your knees are lower than your hips, and extend just beyond the edge of your seat. Make sure your seat is up high enough and back far enough so that you can keep your knees low. But, make sure you can still reach everything.
If you’re back is curling into the back of your seat, then you’re not getting the proper lumbar support your spine needs. Keep a pillow or a rolled up towel behind your lower back to keep your spine in line. Most custom seats have this feature built in but sometimes you just have to make do with what you have.
You’ve adjusted your seat up and down, back and forward, so all that’s left is the angle of the backrest (unless you have a really fancy seat.) The American Chiropractic Association recommends 110° tilt backwards to the seat which will give you an ideal weight distribution.
When it comes to truck driver ergonomics, it’s important to change it up once in a while. Routinely re-adjust your body’s positioning while on long hauls in order to avoid causing stress associated with prolonged pressure on certain parts of the body. It would also make a tremendous impact to make more frequents stops to rest and stretch.
Some of these tips for developing better truck driver health may seem like common sense, and to a certain extent they are (if your back hurts after sitting in the same position for 11 hours straight, chances are there’s a correlation). A sense of awareness to these concerns is crucial though, in order to serve as a constant reminder to address them accordingly. With all that being said, keep on truckin’, but do so while sitting properly, throwing back some water shots, and taking a walk when you can.