Ergonomic adjustments keep you and your staff healthy and productive while working at your desks. However, you don’t want to end great ergonomics practices when you leave the office. These practices are just as important when you’re traveling! Here are seven ways to maintain great ergonomic habits while on the road.
Choose Your Suitcase Carefully
Dragging a heavy suitcase through one airport after another can wreak havoc on your shoulders and back. One great solution is to invest in a 4-wheeled suitcase. These are more balanced in design and provide some of their own acceleration. You will use much less force, effort, and strain with this kind of suitcase. It’s also important to avoid over-packing and to check your bags whenever possible to give your body a break.
Make Use of Luggage Racks
Using the luggage racks in your hotel room is another sound ergonomic idea. Store it bottom-down so that you can easily open it and reach for what you need. This way you won’t strain your back, neck, and arms bending over a suitcase placed on the ground. Lack of repetitive strain is key to avoiding soreness and injury.
Bring Along an External Keyboard and Mouse
Typing and swiping on your tablet can strain fingers and wrists, as can using the built-in mouse on your laptop. An external mouse and keyboard will take up little space in your suitcase, but make a big impact when it comes to an ergonomically designed workspace.
For longer emails or lengthy internet research sessions, a bigger screen is beneficial. The smaller font on your tablet can cause eye strain if you don’t switch things up from time to time. Try to use a laptop, or even a desktop computer in your hotel’s business center for these tasks.
Don’t Forget Your Reading Light
A clip-on reading light is an easy solution to alleviating eye strain. You can use it on the airplane, in your hotel bed, and to supplement dim hotel lighting at your hotel desk while you work. When your eyes have enough light, there is less strain on the eye muscles. You will also avoid the tensed-up shoulders that often come along with straining to see something.
Adjust Your Hotel Desk Chair
Hotel desk chairs aren’t always very ergonomic, but you can make small adjustments to help. Make sure your chair is the right height so that you can see your computer monitor and use your keyboard and mouse without strain. If necessary, add a pillow to your chair to sit a bit higher. Sometimes the chairs in hotel business centers and meeting rooms are better quality, so it can be worth it to work from there for a while.
Take Stretching Breaks
Traveling is rough on your body. Make a point to get up and stretch during long flights. Breaks at work conferences should be used to do some gentle stretching. Focus on any areas that feel stiff, like your neck or lower back. When working in your hotel room, aim to take short breaks. Walk around, stretch, and drink water about once an hour. Our handy guide to desk stretches is a great place to start if you want to implement stretching at your desk.
At Healthworks Ergonomics, we work with you and your staff to ensure everyone stays comfortable, healthy, and productive. Ergonomics services improve efficiency while reducing missed work due to work-related injury and strain. Contact us today to learn more about our professional on-site ergonomics evaluations.