A postural evaluation during a prolonged driving task was conducted to determine the ergonomic validity of a new freely adjustable truck seat prototype. Twenty participants were recruited to perform two 2-h simulated driving sessions. Postures were assessed using motion capture, accelerometers and pressure pads. Subjective discomfort was also monitored in 15-min increments using ratings of perceived discomfort (RPD) and the Automotive Seating Discomfort Questionnaire. Participants had a more neutral spine posture during the first hour of the drive and reported lower RPDs while sitting in the prototype. Pairing the gluteal backrest panel with the adjustable seat pan helped reduce the average sitting pressure. The industry-standard truck seat may lead to the development of poor whole body posture, and the proposed ergonomic redesign of a new truck seat helped improve sitting posture and reduce perceived discomfort. Practitioner Summary: A new freely adjustable truck seat prototype was compared to an Industry standard seat to assess hypothesised improvements to sitting posture and discomfort for long haul driving. It was found that the adjustable panels in the prototype helped promote spine posture, reduce sitting pressure and improved discomfort ratings.
Keywords: Prolonged sitting; ergonomic design; perceived discomfort; posture; seating.