Tips – World Reflexology Week ​

Blog post posted on 29/09/20 |

It is generally acknowledged that if possible it’s better to stay active when suffering with back problems rather than spending prolonged periods of time lying in bed.  Regular physical exercise which involves moving the back, neck and shoulders is an ideal way to strengthen the muscles and keep joints mobile.  Unfortunately for many who drive for long periods this means more time sat in the same position and less movement which can have a knock on effects on our neck, spine, shoulders and hips. Over time this might lead to poor posture and pain. To mark the recent World Reflexology Week, Kate Mulliss from the Association of Reflexologists has pulled some tips together for all drivers whether you currently experience any back issues or not.

  • Empty out the back pockets of your trousers or jackets. Sitting on items such as your wallet, keys or phone can move your spine out of alignment and can also be very uncomfortable.

  • Adjust the back of your car seat to touch the back of your bottom and the back of your shoulders. The seat will need to have a slight incline backwards which will support the natural inward curve of your back. Reclining the seat too far back can strain your neck and head as you will keep having to lean forward to see out of your windscreen. It pays to take some extra time to position yourself correctly, especially if taking long drives.

  • Your headrest should be adjusted so that the back mid-section of your head meets the middle of the cushion when you rest your head back.

  • Position your steering wheel if possible, by moving it up or down, to a position that suits you best and so your hands sit at about 10 to 2 on wheel. Sit close enough to the wheel to have a soft bend in your elbows. Sitting too far away can cause you to reach too far, which puts more pressure and stress on the spine, neck, shoulder, and wrists.

  • Position your rear view and wing mirrors correctly, so you do not need to strain your neck by pulling it forward to look and see behind you safely.

  • Your back muscles can tighten and stiffen when seated in the same position for too long so be sure to take regular breaks. You should aim to take a 15-minute break at least every two hours or 100 miles. Use this time to move around and stretch. Breaks can improve your posture throughout the journey and your concentration.

If you feel that you have ongoing back issues, it is advised that you see a doctor because there could be other factors affecting your back.

Kate Mulliss from the Association of Reflexologists demonstrates a selection of hand techniques which drivers may find helpful. To watch their video please click here:

For further tips please read our Ergonomics leaflet attached: IAM RoadSmart Ergonomics Leaflet