Ergonomics and business travel

When you travel for work, it is important not to forget about ergonomics.  Computer ergonomics usually worsens during travel, combined with having to transport luggage and other business materials.  Here are some tips to help you stay in ergonomics mode when travelling:

  1. Book an executive hotel room – Many hotels offer hotel rooms with ergonomics in mind.  Booking a hotel room with a desk and an ergonomic office chair will help you avoid uncomfortable postures that put you at risk for injury.
  2. Accessorize your laptop computer – Don’t forget to bring an external keyboard and mouse for your laptop.  Having an external keyboard will allow you to separate the monitor screen from the keyboard decreasing neck and shoulder strain.  Compact sized or roll-up keyboards are great to cut down on space and weight.  And don’t forget to place your laptop on a phonebook or two to raise it to the proper height (top of monitor screen level with the eyes).
  3. Accessorize your phone – The same goes for your smartphone and iPad:  an external keyboard and mouse will leave you feeling much more comfortable while reducing the risk of injury.
  4. Pack smartly – Use two or three small suitcases/bags instead of one large one to distribute the loads.  Make one a back pack and one a rolling suitcase.  Be sure to have padded straps on your back pack and a hip belt to share the load to your hips.  A rolling suitcase that you don’t have to tip to roll will also lessen your load and protect your shoulders.
  5. Be healthy – It is tempting to grab and go when buying food and drinks on the road or in the airport.  But taking a few extra moments to choose healthy food and fill your waterbottle will keep you sharp and focused.  Be sure to carry healthy portable snacks like granola bars and nuts to maintain your blood sugar levels between meals.
  6. Don’t forget posture – Car and plane seats can wreak havoc on your lower back.  Keep the seat upright or tilted back slightly to achieve the most comfortable angle for your back.  Don’t forget to place a small pillow at your lower back to maintain the natural curve of your spine.  When walking with your luggage, keep your back and neck straight with your shoulders back.  Tighten your core muscles when lifting, pushing or pulling your luggage.

Taking extra time to prepare yourself for comfort will go a long way in helping you feel good while traveling and prevent extra fatigue upon return.  Following these tips will give you a happy, productive business trip with no aches and pains to slow you down.

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