Do you travel a lot by car? We live in a country of frequent drivers. That has health consequences. Monotonous sitting in a conventional car seat inevitably leads to tension. Not only do concentration and attentiveness suffer as a result, but back problems can also develop over the long term. Some drivers put their faith in retrofits in the search for a cure, from manufacturers that all promise miracles. But most of these are ineffective and some are in fact detrimental and a safety risk.
There is another way: A massage mat installed on the existing car seat can help prevent tension. However, it does not replace an ergonomic car seat and the individual adjustment possibilities such a seat can offer. One literally has to consider the massage mat as being on top of the seat.
Day after day, millions of people use cars to get from point A to point B. Around 40 per cent of all German citizens drive for more than 90 minutes at a time, and nearly 20 per cent rack up more than 20,000 kilometres a year. More than 90 per cent of these frequent drivers complain about back pain. The cervical and lumbar spine regions are most commonly affected.
Few can avoid driving a car. Yet riding in a car is considered one of the worst forms of sitting according to medical experts. The reason: Since we can hardly change our sitting position while driving, we are pretty much immobile as we sit behind the wheel – poison for our body over the long term.
So what can you do to influence rigid sitting while driving?
Massage promotes circulation in the muscles and connective tissue, regulates muscle tension and can alleviate pain. It also reduces the release of stress hormones and promotes the production of “happy hormones” such as endorphins and oxytocin. Of course, a treatment from a certified massage therapist is not possible while driving. But there are mechanical options, such as a car seat massage mat, that can do the job.
A massage mat equipped with air chambers, for example, has to be integrated so that sitting comfort is not impaired but ideally improved. For example, it might include a lumbar support that the series seat does not have. Being able to individually adjust the intensity, speed and type of massage is important as well. After all, each person responds differently to the pressure and intensity of a massage. Various or subsequently installable massage programmes are useful here. They provide variety in accordance with your preferences. The active part of the mat should cover the thoracic and lumbar spine region so that the bulk of the muscles can enjoy the massage. When you do not want to use the massage mat, it must not be perceived as a foreign object. The mat should adapt to the seat geometry so that it is virtually unnoticeable.
Operation has to be legally compliant. What this means is that the settings are configured before you start driving or activated, for example, using an app with voice commands. This ensures that you are not distracted while driving and can focus on traffic.
Because perspiration while driving a car cannot always be avoided, even in the air-conditioned cab, a mat made of breathable materials is also advantageous. This ensures a pleasant sitting climate. An integrated climate function that maintains a pleasant temperature between the body and seat is of course ideal.
As an accessory, a massage mat should be slip-resistant and easy to install securely on a standard driver's or passenger seat. While a safety inspection is often not required for many accessories, you should observe corresponding information from the manufacturer to ensure there is no added risk of injury in case of a collision. The seat properties and the existing protective equipment of the seats must not be impaired.