Driving-Related Ergonomic Risk Factors for Back Pain
Back Pain in Driving Police Officers
Back Pain Study Regarding Driving Police Officers
A study published in Occupational Medicine, Vol. 48, No. 3., pp. 153-160, 1998, titled “Musculoskeletal Problems and Driving in Police Officers,” written by D. E. Gyi and J. M. Porter, Vehicle Ergonomics Group, Department of Design and Technology, Loughborough University, Leicestershire, United Kingdom, found :
Low Back Pain and Driving Police Officers
In the above-mentioned study, the Occupational Health Department of a rural police force in the United Kingdom had concerns with relation to driving and its link to musculoskeletal disorders.
Prolonged Driving is a Risk Factor for Low Back Pain
“There are now an increasing number of researchers whose work implicates prolonged exposure to car driving as a risk factor for low back pain. However, such epidemiological studies examining the relationship between car driving and back pain or other musculoskeletal troubles are difficult to conduct.”
Police Drivers Deemed at Particular Risk for Back Pain
“These police drivers are also deemed to be at particular risk because of the following:
- They are generally tall males and wear bulky clothing such that seat adjustment may be insufficient to obtain a good posture.
- They drive fleet cars where the seat and suspension are exposed to excessive wear and tear.
- They often have to drive in rapid response situations such that they are exposed to fast acceleration and deceleration.
- Driving is often followed by strenuous physical activity such as lifting and running.
- They spend most of their eight-hour shift driving or sitting in their vehicle.
- They often have to take back-seat passengers, such that tall males are unable to take advantage of any seat adjustments that do exist.”
Police Drivers Have Twice the Risk for Back Pain / Other MSDs
“In a survey of 2,000 U.S. police officers, the number and types of health disorders reported by these officers over a 6-month period were similar to those found in the general public over a 12 month period, (Hurrel, J., 1984).”
Results of Study
Driving is a Risk Factor for Low Back Pain
The results of the above-mentioned study agree with the findings of other studies that indicate driving a car is a risk factor for the development of low back pain.