The Jeepney is not only a means of transport to most Filipinos, it is also a cultural icon. Born from the many military jeeps left by the US after WWII, its design was altered to accommodate more passengers with decorations and accessories that go with the Filipino idea of aesthetics.
Unfortunately, the military jeep was not ergonomically designed for comfort but for utility in combat. That same ergonomic design has not changed much to this day. Thus, Gorio and his Jeepney even had to have a British driver in a History Channel documentary to highlight this fact.
A study conducted by the College of Engineering in UP Diliman wherein jeepneys doing the rout of the Diliman Campus were observed, measured and drivers interviewed came up with unhealthy results. These included small legroom, uncomfortable seats, hard to adjust mirrors, ventilation, windshield height limitations combine with 10 hour working days result in back pain and fatigue that is commonly endured by jeepney drivers.
The UP researchers made suggestions in the re-design of the jeepneys. These are the following:
Criteria Ave. Measurement (in cm)
Height of Drivers' seat 127.27
Height of Back Rest 84.84
Height of set from the floor 43.33
Diagonal distance from edge of seat
to foot controls 45.27
Distance of steering wheel from the floor 22.23
The re-design of the contour of the drivers’ seats would also reduce the back pains and fatigue of the drivers. The additional height of the windshield will make for a better view of traffic and traffic lights for added road safety.
But the drivers disclosed that these modifications would result in additional expenses that in their own cost benefit analysis would be unacceptable. They would rather endure tha fatigue, discomfort and back pain rather that shell out costs.
Such is the case of Philippine society today. Health is not one of the priorities or is the least priority the lower the socio-economic level gets.
Health takes a back seat to a greater number of Filipinos and Health Design is also in the same seat