Ergonomic Travel Tips

The holiday travel season upon us. Lines, crowds, heavy luggage, uncomfortable airplanes, traffic…you are familiar with the horror and chaos that awaits you.


Airport Crowd

Here are a few tips to make your travels a little bit more comfortable:

Good luggage makes a big difference. Look for lightweight, durable luggage with extending handles and good wheels. Check out the travel tow, a handle attachment that can improve the ergonomics of any luggage on wheels

If you have to lug along your laptop with your carry on, try using a backpack instead of a shoulder bag. Backpacks distribute the weight evenly on both sides instead of overly straining your shoulder and neck

Only carry the essentials. Try thinning down to some magazines, sudoku or crosswords and an ipod instead of books, laptops, and dvd players

When in flight, prop your feet up on your carry on bag to improve circultation and decrease muscle strain

Place a small pillow or blanket in the lumbar region of your back to help reduce back strain

If you have a tendency to fall asleep with head on your shoulder, use a pillow. Those “U-shaped” travel pillows that fit around your neck can also help. If you want to really pamper yourself, try the tempurpedic travel pillow

If you insist on using a laptop during flight, try placing it on a pillow or laptop stand on your lap. For most people the pull-down tray is located at a height much higher than their seated elbow height, which causes awkward hand and wrist postures while typing

Get some exercize! Here are few exercizes suggested by ehow to loosen up and keep your blood flowing while on the plane or in the airport:

STEP 1: Squeeze a tennis ball, a racquetball or even a pair of socks with your hands until they’re tired.

STEP 2: Keep the balls of your feet planted and raise your legs using your calf muscles. If this is too easy, place your carry-on bag on your knees. Continue until tired.

STEP 3: Plant your heels firmly and raise your toes as high as possible. Hold for five seconds, and relax. Repeat until tired.

STEP 4: Place your hands on your armrests and raise your knees slowly (together is harder than one at a time) toward your chin. Lower them slowly. Repeat until tired.

STEP 5: Cross your legs. Rotate the dangling foot in as wide a circle as possible. Continue until tired.

STEP 6: Stretch your neck by keeping your chin close to your throat and tilting your head forward. Roll your head from one shoulder to the other, but avoid rotating it backward.

STEP 7: Flex your trapezius muscles by doing shoulder hunches. Lower your shoulders, and then raise them up toward your ears into a shrug. Hold for five seconds. Continue until tired.

STEP 8: Arch your torso gently backward and forward like a cat.

STEP 9: Flex your gluteus muscles and hold for as long as possible. Squeezing your rear like this may occasion strange glances, but these muscles are the biggest in the human body and need to be exercised, too.