I drive a lot. How can I protect my back?

Driving is one of the most common places for back pain to start. You can develop tension in your shoulder and back after driving at night, in heavy traffic or for prolonged periods.

  • Concentrate on good posture.
  • Keep the steering wheel quite close to you, as this will create less strain when you turn the wheel.
  • Use a lumbar (lower back) support in the seat. A neck rest is also a good idea.
  • Take care getting in and out of the car. The safest movement is to sit first and slowly swivel round. When leaving, put both feet on the pavement before standing.
  • After a long car journey, go for a long walk. This is not the time to slump in front of the TV!

The Health and Safety Executive/Department for Transport publication Driving at work: Managing work-related road safety advises employers that they should take account of ergonomic considerations before purchasing or leasing new vehicles. They should provide drivers with guidance on good posture and, where appropriate, on how to set their seat up correctly.

Note: This content is provided as general background information and should not be taken as legal advice or financial advice for your particular situation. Make sure to get individual advice on your case from your union, a source on our free help page or an independent financial advisor before taking any action.