Know Safety, No Crashes: Ergonomics

August 1, 2022

We go to great lengths to design our workspaces to fit our bodies – and for good reason.

The goal of ergonomics is to eliminate discomfort and the risk of injury due to work. Nobody wants to suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome. Nobody wants to suffer from tendonitis or lower back pain, either. So, we pay attention to the height of our office chair, make use of keyboard wrist supports and seek out lumbar support. We bend our knees when lifting boxes in the warehouse and monitor how much time we spend on repetitive tasks or using vibrating machine tools.

But what about creating a healthy setup for driving? Did you know you can undo all that great work by neglecting your driving ergonomics? Many of us spend a great deal of time behind the wheel. Some of us, in fact, spend more time driving than sitting at a desk. Let’s look at a few simple steps you can take to avoid pain and discomfort while driving.

One final tip: Eliminate distractions. Not only is texting while driving illegal, it’s also dangerous. Your head is down. Your eyes are off the road. In fact, just reading a text takes your eyes off the road for about five seconds. At 55-mph, you will travel the length of a football field in that time. You might as well be wearing a blindfold. What will you miss? A traffic light? Stop sign? Pedestrian?

It’s OK to take a risk if it pushes you outside your comfort zone and helps you achieve a worthy goal. It’s never OK to take risks while driving. You only have one body and one life to live. Be good to yourself so you can enjoy the ride.

– Mike Ezzell is a program manager with the National Safety Council

Ergonomic Resources

Ergonomics – Overview | Occupational Safety and Health Administration (

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