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Best Practices for Vehicle Ergonomics: What You Need to Know
BSM North America

Best Practices for Vehicle Ergonomics: What You Need to Know

You might think sitting in the driver’s seat is the same as sitting in a chair, but this is not true. The two activities are completely different – and so should be the ergonomics.

When you're using a steering wheel rather than a computer mouse, your arms will be in a higher position. Navigating the accelerator and brake pedals will also affect your body positioning differently than remaining stationary.

So, what are the best practices for vehicle ergonomics? The BSM North America team is here to weigh in with all the details.

Ergonomics Explained in Less Than a Minute

It's estimated that around 80% of the population will have back pain at one point, and everything from your leisurely activities to your driving position will be affected. Ergonomics is defined as the science of work, and physical ergonomics is how your body placement plays a role and how you function.

Proper ergonomics means correctly positioning your body for the most efficient, comfortable, and safe outcome in whatever activity you engage in.

What Is an Ergonomic Steering Wheel Position?

Proper ergonomics behind the wheel keeps you more comfortable, lets you be more adaptable to changing situations on the road, and can reduce the risk of injuries like back, foot, neck, and shoulder pain. 

Correct positioning involves applying the right practices, including:

  • Ensuring your feet can reach the pedals with ease and have the seat as high as possible.

  • Setting the tilt support between 100 and 110 degrees to stabilize your back.

  • Making the headrest level with the top of the head.

  • Adjusting the steering wheel for tilt or height to ensure the center is between 10 and 12 inches from your breastbone and that arms, shoulders, and wrists are comfortable.

  • Adjusting the mirrors to avoid excess neck strain.

  • Positioning any items needed during the drive accordingly and within a safe distance to not overextend your reach.

How Can You Further Improve Your Steering Position?

Aside from the correct body positioning, you can customize your experience further by taking frequent breaks, especially on long drives. Move your hand posture on the wheel periodically to maintain flexibility, and when you're entering or exiting the vehicle, use hand grips to assist. If it's a higher vehicle, use extra steps or running boards for more support.

Other advanced solutions include investing in custom steering columns, shifters, and steering wheels. These are designed to support your body's correct posture, help maintain proper ergonomics, keep you safer, and reduce your risk of injury.

Enhance Off-Highway Vehicle Ergonomics With BSM North America

If you're new to vehicle ergonomics, it can take some time to learn the best practices for your body, so do your best to adjust as needed. Customized features can enhance your driving experience, and when you need high-quality components, BSM North America delivers high-quality steering wheel columns and steering wheel accessories that our clients know and trust.

BSM also offers industrial fabrication and commercial machining parts fabrication to support all industries ranging from military to construction, and we would love to help you with your next project.

See the difference our unmatched technology and experience can offer by giving our Burnsville office a call at 952-890-8146 or message us online, and our team will get back to you shortly.

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