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SHOFT, a simple, palm-sized device that takes just two seconds to fit on to your seatbelt, could put an end to those troublesome twinges

Does your back ache after sitting behind the wheel for long? If so, chances are you’re not wearing your seatbelt correctly.
Worryingly, new figures suggest that most of us don’t wear our seatbelts in the way in which they were designed and safety-tested. A recent survey (1) revealed that more than 95% of drivers finish their journeys with at least a one-inch gap between their lower back and the seat. This altered sitting position puts strain on the supportive muscles of the lower back, leading to back pain.
Several studies have found a link between driving and back problems with people who drive for a living being statistically more likely to suffer(2). Back pain affects an estimated four out of five UK adults (80%)(3)at some point in life, costs the NHS more than GBP1.3 million per day (4) and, together with neck and muscle pain, accounted for 31 million lost working days in the UK in 2013 (5).

New solution

Now SHOFT, a simple, palm-sized device that takes just two seconds to fit on to your seatbelt, could put an end to those troublesome twinges – welcome news for Britain’s 36 million motorists (6), who spend an average of nearly 10 hours a week behind the wheel (7).

SHOFT addresses the main cause of backache in drivers by helping to keep the spine aligned with the seat back. It does this by eliminating the slack that naturally creeps into the seatbelt as the journey progresses. When you buckle up, its unique inbuilt ‘brake pad’ made of GRIPtene engages the lap belt section of the seatbelt, keeping it tensioned across your pelvis for the whole journey. This helps you avoid slipping down in the seat and keeps your spine aligned with the car’s seat back, supporting your back muscles and preventing strain.
Besides improving posture, it helps you to sit in the same position that all crash-test dummies are in for car safety tests, and helps to comply with the safety guidelines from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.

SHOFT made the finals of the UK road safety charity BRAKE’s 2014 awards. It has also been tested and highly recommended by physiotherapists, osteopaths and chiropractors.
“When your spine is stacked upright and supported by the back of your car seat, your muscles can relax and reduce the compression through your joints and discs. SHOFT stops you sliding down the seat, making a healthy position much easier to maintain – so if your back pain is caused by compression, you are likely to benefit from using a SHOFT.”
Nell Mead, award-winning physiotherapist and clinical director, Victory Health & Performance

Price details
A SHOFT pack (2 SHOFTs) costs just GBP24.99.

More facts about backache

• It’s the leading global cause of disability according to the World Health Organization and is higher in western countries where we spend hours sitting down (8).
• Back pain costs the UK economy GBP37 million per day (9).
• Nearly two-thirds of drivers claimed that their daily commute leaves them with neck, back or muscle pain in a 2014 Bupa survey (10).
• Sitting puts 50% more pressure on your lower back than standing (11).
• For more on healthier and safer driving, download HELP! My Car Is Killing Me – Top Tips For A Healthier Drive by SHOFT co-inventor Dr Graham Cox and top London physiotherapist Nell Mead (GBP4.99; Amazon.co.uk)

For further information

• Visit shoft.co.uk for more info and videos about SHOFT.
• Contact SHOFT co-inventor Dr Graham Cox on 07525 812 906, 0844 858 4366 or email enquiries@SHOFT.co.uk
• Download images here
• Testimonials and interviews from users available (contact details via Graham Cox)

Notes to editors

Journalists/editors can try SHOFT in their car by contacting Dr Cox.

SHOFT is designed and manufactured in Great Britain by TUTCH Designs Ltd. SHOFT is patented in Europe and USA. The SHOFT concept has been fully crash-tested and demonstrated not to interfere with the safety of the seatbelt. By assisting better posture and keeping slack out of the seatbelt, SHOFT helps the occupant to mimic the crash test set-up as used by EuroNCAP.

SHOFT not only looks and feels good, but it is impregnated with a natural biocide so also helps prevent the spread of common germs.

TUTCH Designs Ltd is a proud sponsor of the UK charity BackCare and Williams Fund, a children’s cancer charity set up by Graham’s sister Johanna Dodd after her 4 year-old son died of a rare cancer. Every penny raised goes towards research into children’s cancer. The charity has raised over GBP600,000 to date through the generosity of local businesses and the amazing feats of individuals.

SHOFT is a registered trademark of TUTCH Designs Ltd. © 2015.

Inventor Dr Graham Cox

Graham has a PhD in physiology from the Royal Free Hospital School of Medicine, London, and more than 20 years’ experience in industry, working in a variety of disease areas including pain and arthritis. He and his father Ronald invented and patented SHOFT from Ronald’s house, spending five years perfecting the device, with the help of top experts in design, safety, ergonomics, posture, moulding and intellectual property.

References

1. Inspection survey carried out between January-March 2015 at several UK garage service locations where 135 drivers were asked to complete a simple inspection having just stopped to wait for car wash or petrol. Data on file at TUTCH Designs Ltd.
2. Spine J. 2014 Apr;14(4):592-7. doi: 10.1016/j.spinee.2013.06.029. Epub 2013 Aug 27. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23992937
3. Chartered Society of Physiotherapy http://www.csp.org.uk/professional-union/practice/evidence-b...
4. NHS; http://www.nhscareers.nhs.uk/features/2012/october/
5. Sickness Absence in the Labour Market, Office for National Statistics, February 2014 (UK); http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/dcp171776_353899.pdf
6. RAC http://www.rac.co.uk/pdfs/report-on-motoring/rac-rom-2014-v1...
7. http://swns.com/news/drivers-spend-years-months-lives-cars-3...
8. The global burden of low back pain: estimates from the Global Burden of Disease 2010 study, Ann Rheum Dis 2014;73:968-974 doi:10.1136/annrheumdis-2013-204428
9. Backcare, the charity for back and neck pain; http://www.backcare.org.uk/
10. http://www.bupa.com/media-centre/press-releases/uk/brits-say...
11. BMA Bad Back Book, British Medical Association, 2013

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