RELEASED: London, UK May 10th 2018

Does your back ache after sitting behind the wheel for long? If so, you are amongst the vast majority of drivers and the chances are you’re not sitting or 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 independently validated survey[i]revealed that more than 90% of drivers don’t sit in the healthiest sitting position and most ‘wear’ their seat belts with slack in the belt, compromising safety.  Being in a moving vehicle in this ‘slouched’ position puts strain on the supportive muscles of the lower back, often 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[ii]. Back pain affects an estimated four out of five UK adults (80%)[iii]at some point in life, costs the NHS more than £1.3 million per day[iv]and, together with neck and muscle pain, accounted for 31 million lost working days in the UK in 2013[v].

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. The product is one of many that appear on Channel 4 series Buy It Now where inventors and sellers of new products have just 90 seconds to demonstrate their item in the hope of securing a potentially life-changing order with a national retailer.

SHOFT addresses the main cause of backache in drivers by helping to keep the spine aligned with the seat back. It does this by eliminatingthe slack that naturally creeps into the seatbeltas 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 (RoSPA).  “A slack seat belt means that your 5* crash tested car might be more like a 2* in an accident.  Its that important” says co-inventor Dr Graham Cox who’s spent the past 7 years working on the problem with back specialists, and ergonomics and crash test experts along with his father Ron.

SHOFT has made the finals of the UK road safety charity BRAKE’s product safety awards and is anticipated by back specialists and ergonomics experts to significantly improve the health of the millions of Britain’s drivers as well as reduce injury and possibly save lives. In addition, expectant mothers have welcomed SHOFT as it stops the lap belt from riding up over the bump.  SHOFT also helps keep children secure in their booster seats avoiding the usual tipping and rocking that every parent knows only too well.  SHOFT has also been tested and highly recommended by back experts and gained top 5* reviews from the UK’s motoring press including AutoCar and the Sunday Times.

See how the inventors of SHOFT fared on Buy It Now hosted by Brian Conley, on Monday 14thMay at 5:30pm.

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 you are highly likely to benefit from using SHOFT.”

Nell Mead, award-winning physiotherapist and clinical director, Victory Health & Performance (co-author of ‘HELP! My Car Is Killing Me’).

Price details

SHOFT packs (2 SHOFTs) costs just £24.99 delivered (UK Mainland) and £28.99 worldwide.

Ends

 

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.[vi]
  • Back pain costs the UK economy £37 million per day.[vii]
  • Nearly two-thirds of drivers claimed that their daily commute leaves them with neck, back or muscle pain in a 2014 Bupa survey.[viii]
  • Sitting puts 50% more pressure on your lower back than standing.[ix]
  • For more on healthier and safer driving, download HELP! My Car Is Killing Me – Top Tips For A Healthier Driveby SHOFT co-inventor Dr Graham Cox and top London physiotherapist Nell Mead (£4.99; Amazon.co.uk)

 

For further information

  • Visit shoft.co.ukand Facebookfor 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 imageshere
  • Testimonialsand interviews from users available (contact details via Graham Cox)

Notes to editors

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 (www.backcare.org.uk) and WilliamsFund (www.WilliamsFund.co.uk), 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 £850,000 to date through the generosity of local businesses and the amazing feats of individuals.

SHOFT is a registered trademark of TUTCH Designs Ltd. © 2016.

 

Co-Inventors Dr Graham Cox & Ronald 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.  Graham is an illustrator, author and kitesurf instructor and is married to Anabel.

Ronald, Grahams father is retired after starting up, building and running a successful £2.5M turnover engineering business for 35 years based in Hampshire, UK.  Ronald brings sound, wise manufacturing/technical and business advice from over 40 years of running his own business.  Ron created the brand name after impersonating Sean Connery saying ‘soft’.

Graham & Ronald stopped all SHOFT activity for 2 years (2015-2017) to look after Ron’s wife Elizabeth who was diagnosed with cancer. 18 months on from Elizabeth’s death, they are now picking up where they left off to make SHOFT the success she always knew it could be.

References

[i]Independent validated open on-line survey of 104 subjects carried out between April – May 2015. Data on file at TUTCH Designs Ltd.

[ii]Spine J.2014 Apr;14(4):592-7. doi: 10.1016/j.spine.2013.06.029. Epub 2013 Aug 27. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23992937

[iii]Chartered Society of Physiotherapy http://www.csp.org.uk/professional-union/practice/evidence-base/physiotherapy-works/musculoskeletal-disorders

[iv]NHS; http://www.nhscareers.nhs.uk/features/2012/october/

[v]Sickness Absence in the Labour Market, Office for National Statistics, February 2014 (UK); http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/dcp171776_353899.pdf

[vi]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

[vii]Backcare, the charity for back and neck pain; http://www.backcare.org.uk/

[viii]http://www.bupa.com/media-centre/press-releases/uk/brits-say-commuting-is-a-pain-in-the-neck-back-hip-and-knees/

[ix]BMA Bad Back Book, British Medical Association, 2013