Cynics might say it's an attempt to sell options, but DS claims there's science to back it up.
Massage seats could be “key” to beating stress and anxiety, French car maker DS Automobiles claims.
January 20 was dubbed "Blue Monday" by a Cardiff University professor after he decided the third Monday in January would be the day on which Brits were most despondent. That statement was based on little in the way of science, and was actually devised for a PR company flogging sun-soaked getaways, but it has stuck and Blue Monday is now "a thing."
And premium car brand DS says it has stumbled upon the perfect way to de-stress and tackle the January blues: massage seats. According to the Paris-based firm, the high-tech seats “could be the key to improving driver alertness, reducing anxiety and enhancing well-being”.
The company claims “studies” show a 15-minute chair massage is enough to improve driver “well-being” and can aid concentration on longer journeys. Citing research by the Touch Research Institute, the company says a seat massage and ventilated seats can help lower the body’s level of cortisol — a hormone released by the body to combat stress — by up to 53 percent.
A recent study found that nine in 10 motorists find driving stressful, and U.K.'s Department for Transport (DfT) figures show driver “impairment or distraction”, including fatigue and illness, were a contributory factor in 15 percent of road accidents in 2018. As a result, DS says massage seats could even improve safety.
The company also claims the modern work environment could be having an effect on drivers. The firm says working hours are increasing, and drivers who operate vehicles for long periods of time can experience uncomfortable tension and anxiety on long journeys leading to back and neck pain, poor posture, and stress.
Vince Clisham, head of product at DS Automobiles U.K., said the rigors of modern motoring made fatigue a greater risk, and he was “confident” massage seats could help improve safety and make for a more pleasant drive.
“It’s evident that driver distraction and fatigue contribute significantly towards the possibility of road accidents on U.K. roads every year, with modern-day driving, especially long journeys and challenging traffic conditions, often leading to feelings of stress and anxiety,” he said. “DS is committed to ensuring its customers are as safe as possible on the road, and we’re confident our in-car seat massage function will help with this and enhance driver experience.”
Gallery: DS 7 Crossback adds new options
HOW A QUICK BACK-MASSAGE COULD BE THE KEY TO SAFER AND HAPPIER BRITISH ROADS ON ‘BLUE MONDAY’
- DS Automobiles is raising awareness of the benefits of its deluxe interior where drivers and passengers alike can enjoy a quick in-car back massage ahead of the ‘gloomiest day of the year’
- Research suggests a 15 minute chair massage is enough to reduce stress and halve cortisol levels
- Premium SUV DS 7 CROSSBACK4 offers unique massage seat technology
- Technology could make drivers more alert, less anxious and reduce anxiety behind the wheel
- Watch the full video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rh59vZ-ppTs&feature=youtu.be
As the UK prepares to face ‘Blue Monday’ on Monday 20 January, DS Automobiles is educating road users about the safety and wellbeing benefits of indulging in a quick back massage.
With the post-Christmas blues in full swing, an in-car massage could be the key to improving driver alertness, reducing anxiety and enhancing well-being while navigating the often intensive driving conditions on British roads.
Driver fatigue and distractions are listed as a factor in 20 per cent of road accidents on major UK roads every year1, yet studies show a chair massage of just 15 minutes is enough to improve driver well-being and better concentration on longer journeys, according to DS Automobiles.
A third of British drivers admit to being stressed behind the wheel with many blaming the actions of other motorists for increasing their ‘blood pressure’. Tailgating tops the list of anxiety-inducing behaviour followed by bad weather and cyclists2.
As working hours increase, drivers who operate vehicles for long periods of time can experience uncomfortable tension and anxiety on long journeys leading to back and neck pain, poor posture and stress. Massage function combined with air-conditioned ventilated seat technology on the premium SUV - DS 7 CROSSBACK - can help lower the body’s level of cortisol - a hormone released by the body to combat stress – by up to 53%3.
Available on DS 7 CROSSBACK4, the front seats can be heated, ventilated or set to massage; with five modes available including shoulders, lumbar and wave, and each massage pattern illustrated on the central infotainment screen. It is also possible to select a ‘Comfort setting’ to the car’s suspension that analyses the road surface ahead to dampen and enhance the ride comfort benefitting all occupants.
The technology is part of DS Automobiles’ commitment to providing well-being enhancements; DS 7 CROSSBACK is fitted with comfortable and supportive seats made from high-density foam, and additional comfort features can be selected via the central touchscreen.
The sumptuous DS 7 CROSSBACK includes a range of petrol and diesel choices, with the E-TENSE 4x4 version - a PHEV (Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle) arriving in Q1 2020 with CO2 emissions from 33g/km, combining 300hp and 4x4 with no compromise to occupant or boot space.
Vince Clisham, Head of Product at DS Automobiles UK, said: “It’s evident that driver distraction and fatigue contributes significantly towards the possibility of road accidents on UK roads every year, with modern day driving, especially long journeys and challenging traffic conditions, often leading to feelings of stress and anxiety. DS is committed to ensuring its customers are as safe as possible on the road, and we’re confident our in-car seat massage function will help with this and enhance driver experience.”
1 Department for Transport
2 IAM Roadsmart/Swinton Group
3 The Touch Research Institute
4 Standard on Prestige and Ultra Prestige DS 7 CROSSBACK models (the majority of DS 7 CROSSBACKs in the range)