It doesn’t take long to realize truck driving is hard on your body. In fact, according to the United States Labor Department, the trucking industry was one of the leading industries for incidents of work-related injuries in 2015. Now, just because it’s an industry with high injury rates doesn’t mean it’s a lost cause and you should expect to get hurt on the job. This is where ergonomics comes into play.
Ergonomics is defined as “an applied science concerned with designing and arranging things people use so that the people and things interact most efficiently and safely”. When ergonomics is applied to truck driving, it’s affecting how you position yourself in the cab, the way you sit and how you hold the steering wheel so that you can decrease your risk of discomfort and pain and can enjoy a comfortable ride and strong body.
Here are some simple ergonomic tips you can implement into your driving so that can enjoy the benefits:
- Adjust your seat so that your knees are parallel with your hips and your feet can easily reach the pedals without having to move your position.
- Adjust the steering wheel so that your arms can stay close to the sides of your body and don’t have to reach.
- Move your mirrors so that you can easily view without twisting or moving your position. You can also use your mirrors as a reminder to sit up straight.
- Invest in a gel cushion for your seat to help absorb the vibration of the truck.
- Change your seat position at least twice an hour so that the stress on your body from sitting in the same position isn’t as prominent.
- For lower back support, use a towel or lumbar roll.
- Keep your bottom at the back of your seat so that you can sit upright without slouching.
- Use a steering wheel cover
- Move your hand position on the steering wheel often.
- Never grip the steering wheel for a long period of time.
- Before and after every haul, stretch.
In addition to implementing the tips above, it’s important to take care of yourself. This means keeping yourself hydrated, maintaining a healthy diet, and exercising on a regular basis. Ergonomics should be taken seriously by truck drivers because when properly used, they keep drivers safe, prevent accidents and help to keep the body feeling strong.