Olli’s advice – OP Formula Seat ergonomics
When a racer acquires comfortable seating position and the body posture remains solid while sim racing, the mind has the capacity to focus on the most important thing in racing: joy. The OP Formula Seat was developed with sim racing ergonomics as the highest priority.
OP Formula Seat – Ergonomic masterpiece
I approach the importance of ergonomics in sim racing with the known expression “your body is your mind”. It is crucial to have ergonomic racing gear to perform well. In my pro career I have raced with 7 different type of sim cockpits starting from tubular rig solutions to aluminium profile rigs etc., and if the rig feels uncomfortable or I get ache somewhere in my body, it has a huge impact on the performance in short term and long term. Comfort factor goes down and with it, motivation, and joy.
The importance of ergonomics in joy and performance has major impact in OverPower ecosystem. In this article, we will take an in-depth review on how to get the most out of OP Formula Seat in sim racing. The process of setting up your seat in the best position for your body is done in two major steps: initial setup, and fine-tuning.
Initial setup is important part of the process as it sets up a solid baseline for your body. Each body is different, and it is highly recommended to take some time to do the initial setup properly as it will work as a baseline for your body most likely for a veeeery long time. The objective of initial setup is to provide you a comfortable seating position where from you can start the fine-tuning process.
1. Zero-out the adjustments
Put all adjustment levers in the backwards position, or in other words reset the setup of your adjustments. Starting from scratch is important as it gives the opportunity to have a fresh start on ergonomics and you might find great things with this style, things what you haven’t thought about earlier.
2. Adjust the lumbar
After the “reset”, the first step is to adjust the lumbar support. The lowest two adjustment levers have been designed for adjusting the seat for lumbar. The objective is to find a curvature as close to your lumbar as possible. Initially, you loosen up both slots from both sides of the seat, increase the height of the lower lever which after you lock both. Give the seat a go and start adjusting it based on your feel until you find the curvature to feel natural.
Keep in mind, when you adjust the upper slots for your upper back and head, you might find yourself adjusting the lumbar curvature a bit again so do not worry on coming back to the lumbar step as the objective is to have natural seating position for the whole body.
3. Upper back / shoulder
The two higher slots serve upper back and shoulder area of the body. The objective of the upper back and shoulder adjustments is to have your body in a comfortable upward angle. The best position is when you find your body in comfortable position, so try out different types of combinations until you feel comfortable with your body. You might want to adjust the lumbar area together with these adjustments as well.
When adjusting the upper back and shoulder, keep the highest headrest levers untightened as the head support position will be aligned as an extension of the upper back / shoulder adjustments. Also keep in mind that you might want to adjust the wheel position together with this as well.
4. Head support
The highest adjustment slot is for headrest adjustment. Keep your head in an upward position and adjust the headrest to be about 1cm from the back of the head.
Why, you asked? It is very important to move your head towards the apexes when racing as it improves your performance quite a bit. They key is If you pronounce the head movement and make yourself a habit of looking towards apexes. This is much easier when you keep the head up and free for movement rather than resting it on the rest.
5. Thigh support
At the front of the OP Formula Seat, one can find another adjustment slot. The adjustment serves thighs and is developed to help angle the thighs towards the pedal set depending on the pedal height and angle configuration.
If you prefer to have your pedals set up high, you want to adjust the thigh angle to the upmost position as it supports your legs together with calf support better. Vice versa, if you want your pedals mounted low, you can help angle your thighs towards the pedal set with the lowest position in thigh adjustment.
Then we race! The fine-tuning part of the process is mainly evolving together with the seat and adjusting it on-demand to make the seat answer to your needs while racing. The requirements for general seats vs racing are a bit different as the forces your body handles behaves a bit differently, so the only way to get everything right is listen to your body while racing and tune as you go from the great baseline you created in the previous steps.
1. Comfort as the highest priority
As you go with the seat, there are few key elements to observe. The most important thing is to feel comfortable with the seat. That is the number uno and should be your objective with the adjustments.
Now, you might feel some muscle tension every now and then as you might be pushing your brake at 130kg pressure for hours daily, so there is no way not to feel anything. Still, OP Formula Seat with its adjustability has been developed to offer the opportunity to prevent body aches, so take actions if you start feeling ache somewhere, this is most likely due your spine or body is in a bit wrong seating position during racing and can be altered to support your racing comfort.
2. Maintaining posture
Another major point is to maintain body posture when racing. This is mainly to improve your racing performance via ergonomics.
The objective is to maintain your body posture through different racing sessions. With this, you are more likely able to output the optimal brake and throttle inputs on different parts of the track more consistently, thus making you perform better starting from the first practice till the checkered flag.
You can check the posture and adjust the seat accordingly before you go on track. Go into your normal racing position, put your hands on your wheel and start pushing brake and throttle. When you push the brake, your body should maintain a good posture and the body should not slide one way or another. This ensures the consistent output from your muscles offering better consistency. If your body starts sliding above, you can increase the angle of the seat with the upper back/shoulder adjustments or lumbar support height. One good technique is also to tense the abdominal muscles before pushing the brake. This ensures your body is tense and ready to push. If the abs are loose, the body might be in a slightly lump posture and move along when you push the brake with high strength.
Thanks for reading, we hope this article gave you good level of knowledge on the importance of ergonomics in sim racing and what the OP Formula Seat is capable of. Keep on racing and see you on track!