travel and pain

Ergonomics And Travel – 2 Tips To Make Travel Easier

By Ann Hall, Ergonomist at ErgoSquad.

“One of the most overlooked sources of discomfort when we travel is dehydration. Yet, hydration is integral in keeping our bodies working efficiently and comfortably. Just ask any endurance athlete and they will tell you the difference between performing hydrated and dehydrated. The good news is, if you make it a focus to stay on top of hydration, it can more easily be managed.

What does dehydration look like?

If you notice your urine starting to have a dark yellow appearance and your frequency of urination decreasing, this is a sign to get more water into your system. Symptoms that may be overlooked or thought to be caused by other things such as the stress are headaches, being overly fatigued, nausea, constipation and dizziness.

Why do we tend to get dehydrated during travel and what are solutions that can help?

1. Change in routine: Oftentimes when we are away from our daily routine dashing from one thing to another, we forget to drink. It is during this time that we may go hours with only a small sip of water. It is just out of our mind, unavailable, or maybe we just refuse to pay $6 for a bottle of water.The most practical and affordable solution is to carry a refillable water bottle with you that can go through airport security and then be easily filled up. You can use this in between client meetings and also in the hotel room. Drinking from a bottle like this will let you keep track of your consumption. If you haven’t finished half of a 16 ounce bottle all day, you will know that you need to up your intake.

2. Consumption of alcohol and caffeine: Travel often comes with greater opportunities for alcohol consumption – on the plane, client meetings, happy hours, hotel bars. It is also where we might reach for caffeine more often to try to get some extra energy for the day ahead. A good rule of thumb is to match every one drink with a glass of water AND of course to avoid excessive amounts of consumption.



Ergonomics Advice – Travel Tips From One Of Our Ergonomists

Ann Hall, an Ergonomist with Ergo Squad suggests that there are several things you can do do alleviate travel pain. An example:

1. If you are uncomfortable or in pain, take a break. Actually, take a break anyway.

Instead of waiting until you are so uncomfortable you can’t stand it anymore OR until you have crossed that line into the area of pain, take a break. Small breaks give your body a chance to recover. As reasonable as this sounds, many of us simply choose to ignore our body.

We don’t have time to listen to our body, or do we? Research shows that those who take more micro breaks, end up being more productive. Small breaks help us recover both mentally and physically.

If you are working in less than ideal conditions (lighting, awkward postures, repetition …) like on the road, you probably need more breaks than usual. Once you start to feel antsy or start feeling discomfort, your body is telling you that it needs a break. Ideally you would get ahead of fatigue and discomfort by taking breaks before this ever happens.

Here are some examples of breaks that can help you on the road:

1) Close your eyes for 30 seconds to a minute. Just give yourself a break from staring at the screen.

2) Put your hands on the top of your thighs and just let them rest there for a minute or two.

3) If you are holding a device and working, make sure you put it down and allow your body to just rest in a nice neutral posture.

4) Take the opportunity to stand up and move around a bit at least every hour.

How often should you do this? Well, that depends on your level of discomfort and the intensity and duration of your work, but I think a good rule of thumb is: take a small break of 1-3 minutes every 20-30 minutes. At a minimum try to take one break that is 3-5 minutes long every hour. Adjust this to fit your preference and work style.

2018-07-24T11:24:07-07:00Ergonomic Benefits|