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Driver's Seat--automobile


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Does anyone know of an automobile seat that helps to maximize driver circulation? I've found a lot of optons for orthopaedic support, but, only one (rather expensive) manufacturer that has addressed circulatory fatigue.

BACKGROUND: I have severe POTS/NMH (likely due to hereditary joint hypermobility). Consequently, I cannot sit for very long & my driving is quite limited. By accident, I discovered that Volvo makes car seats that are specifically-designed to reduce circulatory fatigue. (Volvo provided me with some info. that confirmed my experience with their seat.) I'm able to drive in a Volvo seat about 4 times longer than in other seats (I've driven Toyota, Mazda, Honda, Isuzu and Chevrolet models to no avail). Unfortunately, my 1994 Volvo appears to have reached the end of its lifespan--unless I somehow find a way to infuse another $1700 for repairs. As a disabled, single Mother of two young children, ideally, I'd like to find a replacement vehicle more suited to my limited driving and budget. This week seems like an ideal time to make a good deal on a car.

Any suggestions? I'd love to hear from anyone who is willing to share tips for car seats, accessories, etc. that they have found helpful for driving.

Much Thanks,


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I believe the company is HomeMedic that makes those electric massaging seat backs. You can either use them in a chair at home, or I'm pretty sure you can also plug them into the cigarette lighter/adapter in your car too. I have one that I use at home sometimes and it does help with circulation. It massages the back, shoulders and the thigh area. I didn't know that about Volvo cars. I wonder what it is about the design that actually helps with circulation? Interesting!

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Dear Gena,

Thank you for the tip about the homep. seat cushion. I'll definitely look into that. Also, fyi, I've copied the information I received via email from Volvo below. I wish it were more specific. I do know that I stumbled into the benefits of the Volvo seat when I downgraded my old car to the used Volvo in 2000. I was just looking for a cheaper car without payments but as soon as I started to drive it regularly, it became clear that my symptoms were less in that car than in the Honda my former husband was driving. It wasn't until I started looking for a replacement vehicle this year that I started to research seat options and attempted to learn more about the Volvo seat.

Here are the emails from Volvo:

From : VolvoCustomerService, Volvo (.) <volvocus@volvocars.com>

Sent : Friday, September 17, 2004 4:31 PM


Subject : RE: Please Help--Volvo's Orthopaedic-designed Seats

Dear Ms. XXXXXX,

Thank you for contacting Volvo.

The seats in our vehicles are made of a tubular steel frame providing a rigid seat backbone. The seating are itself is supported with strong, flexible wires called pullamflex that are attached to the frame by helical coils. The pullmaflex ensures that seat cushions and backrests retain their shape for many years. The helical springs provide the correct flexibility for the seat to respond to body movements while limiting body bounce. Over the pullmaflex webbing, dense cold-formed polyurethane foam with a buit-in reinforcement is used to build up a firm and flexible seat cushion and backrest. The seat cushion is designed to provide proper thigh support without restricting blood flow. The backrest is deeply contoured for excellent lateral support of the upper body. The lumbar support is adjusted by varying the tension in the pullmaflex wires over a metal plate. This helps relieve back tension and reduce driver fatigue.

We hope this information has been helpful.

Drive Safely,

John Willets

Volvo Cars of North America

From : New, Volvo (.) <newvolvo@volvocars.com>

Sent : Friday, October 22, 2004 5:26 PM


Subject : RE: 1.Please Help--Volvo's Orthopaedic-designed Seats


Thank you for contacting Volvo.

Unfortunately we do not have any comparison data, or data on our seats.

I hope the following helps.

The orthopedically designed seats were designed to enhance comfort and

reduce fatigue. They provide thigh support without restricting blood

flow. They feature a comprehensive system of contoured support tailored

to the individual. Seat adjustment controls are large and easily

accessible. The power driver's seat features eight way power

adjustments. The seat also has a memory function. Volvo is considered

by many to have the best seats in the auto industry.

Best Regards,

Jim Kossove

Volvo Personal Shopper

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An aftermarket seat would be great. I just haven't found any yet that address circulation issues sufficiently for me. Do you recall where you got the seat for your van? I don't know if it's true, but, I've been told that the manufacturers don't recommend aftermarket seats in autos because the air bags and other safety technology are set to work in conjunction with the seats now, so, putting in a different seat could cause the air bag to explode in the wrong position, etc. But . . . if there's an after-market seat option out there, I'd definitely want to explore it. Thanks for the help, Wendi

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