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What is Up with a New Car Headrest?

what is up with the headrest in a new car?Not that I am a philistine but I guess I don’t drive in many new cars. What is up with their headrests?

We own a 2009 Subaru Forrester that I love. It is an awesome car; perfect for snow, dogs and children. It has served us well on endless long drives and I will be sad to see it go. But it seems to be on its last legs.

And while I have designs on getting a new car I had a rude awakening today.  My brother and I drove down to southern New Jersey to teach a Psoas Release Party! to some lovely students at the Yoga Center of Medford. My brother Peter has a Hyundai Elantra, one of the cars we have been talking about but immediately when I sat in the seat, the headrest thrust my head forward.

A New Car Headrest Thrusts Your Head Forward

The seat itself was fine but at the top of the seat the headrest angles significantly forward. I put my hands up to push it backwards but it was no luck. The headrest would go up and down but not back and forth. My brother informed me that this was the new reality in cars.

Excuse me? What? Bucket seats are an ergonomic nightmare to begin with but a headrest that shoves the head forward in all new cars? That is just plain crazy.

“Take the seat backwards. That might help.” This was my brother’s advice as an antidote to my incredulity.

So I tried. Instead of sitting up with my head forced forward I was lying halfway down with my head forced forward. How would that make things better?

Forward head posture, as I have written about numerous times is a very common misalignment. It is unfathomable that car designers saw clear to make this problem worse in every new car that comes out of the factory.

This strikes me as the absolute form of design. It’s as if they figured that everyone’s head is forward to begin with, let’s accommodate their bad posture. I’m flabbergasted because I know that I can’t get a car that has this type of headrest.

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sp posture