We live in a time where we sit for anywhere between 8-10 hours/day. Humans weren’t designed for sitting and the effect that it has on the 3 natural curves of the spine is significant. These 3 curves act as shock absorbers and natural springs for the spine. Sitting tends to flatten these curves and removes the shock absorbing ability they provide. This can lead to the compressive forces of sitting causing early degeneration of the spine and all the stiffness, dysfunction and pain that comes with it.
We’ve all been told how to lift at some time. Bend your knees and not your back is a common refrain. Why? Bending/flexing your back when lifting an object off the ground puts the lower spine in a position of weakness as it changes the centre of gravity from the strong muscles and ligaments around the spine, forward to the front of the discs of the spine. This can predispose to disc injury and herniation as the front of the disc is “pinched” and can lead to bulging of the disc towards the back of these structures.
The position and nature of car seats is such that they are set low, have limited lower back support and the legs are extended operating the driving pedals. This straightened position of the legs can exacerbate sciatic nerve tension which can be compounded by the pressure on the buttocks from the driving/sitting position. We don’t tend to think a great deal about sitting in an ergonomically correct position while driving as understandably we have other things on our mind… such as driving.