How to Sit in Your Car

I made the video below for one of my online coaching clients.  He was having neck/shoulder pain, and trouble breathing freely while driving nearly 200 miles a day for work.  This is way too much driving—too much confined sitting!— but at present there was no way to change that part of his life.  But he could change how he was sitting in his car. 

Place the prop behind your diaphgragm, just below your shoulder blades.

Place the prop behind your diaphgragm, just below your shoulder blades.

I suggested three main adjustments to his sitting position:

  1. fill in the “bucket” with a towel to make his seat as firm as possible. 

  2. wedge his buttocks as far back as possible into the crease between seat and seat back, to distribute the weight of his torso more forward on his thighs.   

  3. place a small cushion behind his diaphragm, to support his spine for better breathing. I like the one called “Baxter” at But since making the video I’ve started using a sawed-off piece of swim noodle. It works great!

Check Your Headroom

These suggestions made him sit taller in the seat, but luckily there was enough headroom in the car to accommodate the change. Otherwise, it would have been time for a new car.

Car designers seem to devise seats to support the lowest common denominator of posture, believing that people need soft seats that cradle the derriere, and backrests that ignore the capacity of your spine to support itself. Basically they’ve put lounge chairs behind the steering wheel.  Somebody needs to have a talk with these people!

Ideal seated support has you resting more on your thighs than on your buttocks, but I’ve never seen a car seat where that was really possible. You can find deeper lessons about sitting in my Google Talk, in The New Rules of Posture (Chap. 3), and in Heal Your Posture, my video workshop (Lesson 1). 

 © 2019 Mary Bond