7 Steps to Correctly Adjust the Driver Seat in Your Car

by IndianAuto Team | 15/08/2020
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Do you know that improper posture when driving will lead to chronic backache? Read the article to learn how to adjust the driver seat in your car.

Do you know that even healthy young people can develop musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) such as back and neck disorders if they keep their posture incorrect every time on cars, beds, sofas, etc.? For drivers who already bear some MSDs, they will suffer from pain after a short time sitting incorrectly on cars. The stiffness varies from person to person, and some may suffer it slower than others, but the pain is a real problem. Therefore, correct posture helps drivers a lot to have a comfortable trip with less musculoskeletal issues.


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Unfortunately, almost no car has the perfect posture for everyone as they are different in sizes. For example, if you are about 2 metres tall, a supermini will never be able to give you the expected posture. However, to compensate for the drawback in sizes, many cars now offer manual adjustments to both steering column and the seat, so that a driver can achieve a better overall driving position. In order words, you must correctly adjust the seat in the car to have the right posture and good musculoskeletal health.

Quickly adjust your driver seat

Before starting to adjust the seat, you need to stay in an incorrect posture for an easier adjustment. To be specific, you have to:

  1. Push your seat all the way back.

  2. Lower the seat as far as you can.

  3. Recline it about 30 to 40 degrees.

  4. Move the steering wheel (if possible) in towards the dashboard and all the way up.


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Step 1: Adjust the seat height

There are certain things you need to remember while adjusting the seat height in your car:

  1. Make sure your hips are as high as your knees.

  2. Make sure the road is visible to your sight.

  3. Make sure your back is comfortably against the seat.

  4. Make sure you don’t need to bend or move your head to observe the road.

  5. Make sure there is at least a 2-finger gap between the seat and the back of your knees for better blood circulation.

If you are too short, you can buy a cushion which does not only give you extra height but also greatly decrease vibrations which can affect your musculoskeletal health.

correct driver seat posture

The correct and comfortable posture when driving


Right Sitting Posture While Driving

Step 2: Adjust the seat position

After adjusting the seat height, here’s what you need to do next:

  1. Move the seat forward until your feet can rest completely on the pedals.

  2. Make sure your knees bend at least 20 to 30 degrees to avoid knee pain.

  3. To support your back and pelvis, rest your left foot on the footrest at times you don’t use the clutch.

  4. Lastly, your right foot must be comfortable to move between the brake pedals and the accelerator.

car pedals

You need to let your legs comfortable.


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Step 3: Adjust the tilt of the seat

It is recommended that the rear of the seat should be down while its front should go up. This will prevent you from slipping towards when braking, which lowers the injuries to your back. Many modern cars have another method to keep you from moving which is enhanced seat belts. Nevertheless, no matter how strong a seat belt is, you should incline the seat back to 100-110 degrees for extra spiral protection. This can also lower the pressure on your back’s discs.

driving posture

10-20 degrees recline is very good for your back.

Step 4: Make use of lumbar supports

Many cars come with adjustable lumbar supports; however, if your can doesn’t provide one, you can buy a lumbar cushion or device. These lumbar support devices help you maintain your lumbar curve, which makes your back less tired, painful, and out of shape while driving. All you need to do is adjust the depth and height of the lumbar device until it fills the gap between your back and the seat.

lumbar suport

A lumbar device supports your spine.


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Step 5: Support the rib cage

The ideal position of the seat should be the same height as your shoulder. However, a bit lower or higher is still fine as long as you can rest your back comfortably on the seat. The problematic issue is how you rest your head on the headrest. Normally, most cars have headrests and not so many people know the correct head position. The first step to rest your head is to let your head sit in its natural position: sit upright and align the earlobe right between the neck muscles and the collarbone. If you aren’t sure you’re having the right natural head position, ask another person. After that, adjust the headrest until it reaches the back of your head.

natural vs forward head

Don't let your head in the 'forward' posture.

Step 6: Adjust your car mirrors and seat belts

After you finish adjusting your car seat, it’s time to adjust the mirrors. You need to keep the correct posture while fixing the mirrors until all the objects are visible. If you don’t do this, you will affect your posture when you move your body to observe the mirrors.

When using seat belts, make sure they cover the hard parts of your body such as the bone of the pelvis rather than soft tissues like the abdomen, which is more vital if a person is pregnant. Using seat belts correctly also can secure your safety during accidents and lower the risks of fatality.


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Step 7: Adjust the steering wheel and position your arms

To correctly adjust the steering wheel and your arm positions, do as followings:

  1. Keep the distance about 20-25 centimetres to your steering wheel, so that the airbags can work optimally.

  2. When stationary, your back and shoulder should be able to rest on the seat. Moreover, your wrists should be able to comfortably bend over the edge of the steering wheel.

  3. When driving, your arms should be able to bend about 120 degrees.

arms on steering wheel

Your arms should be able to bend while driving.

There are further minor adjustments that could be made, but, all in all, the above-mentioned 7 steps to adjust the driver seat in your car are more than enough to assure you can drive comfortably. However, note that you need to take some breaks while driving if your journey is long; otherwise, no perfect posture can guarantee you won’t experience any pain. There are more helpful tips awaiting you on our website, don’t hesitate to check them out.

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