In the Driver’s Seat: Ergonomic Set-up

Car ergonomics are important, especially for frequent drivers
Car ergonomics are important, especially for frequent drivers

Most ergonomic seating guides focus on seats at the office desk or workstation. The other times where we spend a quite a bit of sitting down at is in the driver’s seat of our vehicles. Perhaps not at much as at our desk but significant enough to contribute strain to our backs. So are we seated correctly? Below are some ergonomics tips:

Seat Height

The seat should be high enough

  • so that you can comfortably see the instruments and the road
  • so that your hips are in line with your knees or slights higher

Use a cushion if your seat cannot be raised, or raised high enough.

Seat Forward/Backward Position

The seat should be positioned forward or backward

  • so that you can comfortably reach and depress all the pedals without your back leaving the seat

Do note that bringing the seat forward will affect the ergonomics, by raising your knee relatively to your hips, so check on the seat height.

Seat Recline

  • Recline the back of the seat to approximately 100-110°

Steering Wheel

  • Adjust the steering wheel upwards and towards you to minimise the reach. Having to hold you arms out straight to reach the steering wheel tires the neck and shoulder muscles over time


  • To fully support your head, the headrest should be tilted and raised


  • Change your grip on the steering wheel occasionally
  • If available, adjust your lumbar support every couple of hour if on a long drive
  • Stop regularly and get out of the car to stretch