Driving can be a pain in the back

Stina Eneman News

It is estimated about 44 million EU workers are affected by Back pain and that the total annual costs to the European economy is in excess of 240 billion euros – 2% of GDP.

The latest survey of workers from across the EU suggests that 46% of women and 47% and men reported back pain at some time in the last 12 months. It is a condition which regularly affects:

14.2m Germans – 9.6m Britons – 8m French – 6.4m Spaniards – 5m Poles – 1m Danes

About 85% of people with back pain take less than seven days off – following the consensus medical advice that maintaining mobility is best. Yet this accounts for only half of the number of working days lost. The rest is accounted for by the 15% who are absent for over one month

The key to reducing back pain is to tackle Whole-body vibration (WBV) which is transmitted through the seat or feet of employees who travel in work vehicles. Large shocks and jolts such as potholes, speed bumps and uneven surfaces are the obvious causes of back-pain. But other work factors, such as posture and incorrectly or poorly designed seats, are also known as major contributors to back problems for drivers.

Investment in seats with functions such a ergonomic design, mechanical or air suspension, recline function, lumbar support, headrests, armrests, height/weight adjustment, slides and tilt functions may have an initial higher cost. But if we take paying an extra £100.00 for a seat based on a worker on the minimum wage driving 37.5 hours a week, if the seat could reduce time off due to back related sickness by 2.5 days over the 3 year lifetime of the vehicle, the extra costs paid on the seat would work out cheaper in the long run.

We at Be-Ge are at the forefront of designing ergonomically seats that address the reduction of whole body vibrations, back pain and increasing driver comfort, keeping levels of alertness and coming up with seats to suit people irrespective of size, weight or stature. We consult & involve top Swedish medical ergonomic experts in our designs and are the Worlds oldest suspension seat manufacturer. We even have in our range Office Operators chairs which are certified for 24 hour usage.

Gary Shaw, Be-Ge Seating UK Ltd