Car Seat Ergonomic Set Up | What Is Your Posture Like?

The car seat set up is probably one of the most challenging seats to set up for the everyday person, let alone the individual who is currently in pain or experiences pain when driving.  The most common musculoskeletal complaints aggravated and maintained by driving include lower back pain, leg pain, neck pain and upper limb pain.  The challenge with finding an optimal seat set up is related to a number of factors, these being:

  1. Seat design and adjustability
  2. Seat fit relative to the person
  3. Vehicle design and adjustability i.e. steering wheel, mirrors etc
  4. The need to be concentrating and performing movements of the upper limbs and legs

When it comes to setting oneself up in the car, I will usually focus on educating the client/worker on the following seat set up steps

  1.  Raise seat to a comfortable height that allows maximum visibility
  2. Adjust seat to allow for a comfortable pedal reach
  3. Adjust seat pan tilt/depth (if possible)
  4. Adjust lumbar support (if possible) and seat back rest recline to a comfortable position between 100-120 degrees
  5. Adjust steering wheel height and depth
  6. Adjust mirrors

For those individuals who are struggling with the following:

  • Seat fit (seat is too large, does not provide appropriate back support, hip/thigh support)
  • Seat is uncomfortable
  • Unable to adjust the seat to a suitable position

I will usually look to see if vehicle seat accessories i.e. seat cushion, wedges or back supports can help with regards to improving ones sitting posture and overall comfort.  In the image above you will see an example of a seat wedge (used to raise ones hips relative to their knees) and a therapod lumbar back support (used to improve thoracic and lumbar back support).  If you are struggling with your vehicle seat set up, are not sure and or are looking for advice on how to improve your overall set up and comfort, then touch base with us at Principle Four Osteopathy to undergo a vehicle ergonomic assessment.

This blog post was written by osteopath Heath Williams of Principle Four Osteopathy.  Principle Four Osteopathy is one of Melbourne City CBD leading osteopathy clinics.  Principle Four Osteopathy is located in the heart of the Melbourne City CBD at Level 4, 178 Collins st.  We are located within Pleasance House across the road from the Regent Theatre near the corner of Collins St and Swanston st within Melbourne City CBD.  You can access our osteopathy clinic easily via trams on collins st or swantston st and we are only a short walk away from Flinders St Station, Parliament and Melbourne Central train station. Book an appointment online at or call us on 03 9670929