Back pain affects around half of European Union citizens at some point in their lives, with a recent survey finding that 75 percent of UK drivers will suffer thanks to the wrong seating position.
But Ford claims the new Focus can provide relief for back pain sufferers thanks to the optional comfort seats for the driver and front-seat passenger.
The seats can be adjusted in 18 ways for support and comfort – earning the Focus the seal of approval from Aktion Gesuner Rücken e.V. (AGR), a German group campaigning for healthier backs.
To obtain the seal, the seat must be able to adapt to the person in their sitting position, rather than the person adapting their position to the seat. The Focus is the first vehicle to receive AGR recognition.
“Sitting in the wrong position can make the driver slouch forward, putting pressure on the lower back, said Glen Goold, Ford Focus chief programme engineer.
“Our goal with the Focus was to build an 18-way adjustable seat that adapts to every person, enabling drivers of all shapes and sizes to easily achieve their optimal sitting position for maximum comfort, especially on long journeys.”
The Focus’ seats 18-way adjustment includes seat height, length and inclination, in addition to back, neck and thigh support. The four-way lumbar adjustment is controlled from a switch on the side of the seat.
‘The fight against back pain’
“The ergonomic quality of a car‘s seats is of utmost importance, especially for frequent drivers. We’re delighted that Ford is joining in the fight against back pain by making comfort seats available for even more people,” said Detlef Detjen, managing director, AGR.
Comfort seats are a £300 option on Style, Zetec and Titanium models, and the Focus range starts from £18,300.