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Back pain a problem for van drivers says Volkswagen

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More than two-thirds (70%) of van drivers have taken time off work due to back pain – costing the UK economy on average £21 billion per year, according to a Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles survey.

Drivers who suffer from ‘Builder’s Back’ take an average of three weeks off work and the resulting downtime costs companies an estimated £500 a day per van said the firm. Poor seat adjustment could be to blame for triggering back issues, especially as many drivers spend up to seven hours a day in their vans.

The manufacturer conducted a day’s testing at Cordwallis Van Centre, Heathrow, with a chiropractor from the British Chiropractic Association. They discovered that while half of van drivers said they adjusted their seat to the correct position, two-thirds were sitting incorrectly or missing crucial steps.

Although most drivers adjusted their seats before driving, many committed common mistakes of positioning the seat too close to the steering wheel and angling the seat too far back. Volkswagen’s ‘ergoActive’ seats, equipped with next generation seat foam, provide 14-way adjustment, including a massage function, with back-friendly ergonomics.

The Volkswagen Crafter’s ‘ergoComfort’ suspension seat features optimal back care with up to 20-way adjustment. The suspension seat softens unpleasant bumps and jolts which can jar a driver’s back.

Sarah Cox, Head of Marketing at Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles, said: “Labourers commonly suffer from ‘Builder’s Back’ for a variety of reasons but poor seating position can often be overlooked. Our research made it evident that the majority of drivers don’t adjust their seats correctly. The effect of this is not only causing over two-thirds of van drivers to suffer from back pain but also hits the UK economy with up to £21 billion in opportunity cost.”