Sit Anywhere! Using Footrests and Travel Cushions for Ergonomic Seating on the Go April 25 2018
With the rise of the digital nomad lifestyle as well as more flexible work schedules where many employees can work remotely, working anywhere has created new challenges for ensuring an ergonomically friendly workspace. Whether it’s on your commute, during a business trip, or via car or plane, here are some tips for staying ergonomic throughout the process.
Mobile workstations present similar ergonomic challenges as traditional office workstations. Though it may be easy to find mobile friendly office supplies such as foldable keyboards or travel mice, not all of these available items in the market improve personal comfort or reduce the risk of repetitive stress injuries (RSIs). With the right planning and ergonomic tools, we can get you back in a comfortable working position no matter where you are.
Back Pillows and Seat Cushions
Proper posture is one of the most important aspects of ergonomics. From more convenient inflatable backrest pillow models to those with stiffer support, you can bring lumbar support with you wherever you go. Make any chair you find along your digital nomad path something that won’t leave your back in pain by the end of the day. Gel seats and lumbar cushions can adapt to any driver’s seat and can sometimes even be permanently affixed to the car.
Another important part of proper posture involves resting your feet flat on the floor. You should aim to point your feet forward with proper bending at the knees and hips. A folding footrest can provide relief at cafes and hotels where chair variability might cause you strain. Placing travel pillows underneath the thighs can provide comfort when sitting for long plane rides by increasing joint comfort and improving blood flow. In cars, foot position is often dictated by the pedal position, but pedal extenders may work well for drivers with shorter physique.
Some additional helpful tips for trying to maintain ergonomic health while on the go include how you position your body while working. While sitting for extended periods of time, it’s important to keep your body in proper alignment for the back, neck, and shoulders. Make sure to keep your back and shoulders straight, sliding the buttocks all the way to the back of the chair. By doing this, you’re shifting your weight to the larger muscle groups in the back and reducing stress on the neck and shoulders. This positioning also allows the back to curve naturally, creating a curve inward in the lower back. Make sure there is also a slight inward curve at the neck and outward between the shoulders. Always aim to distribute your body weight evenly between both hips to prevent uneven strain on either side of the body.
Working remotely or in various location can provide you an incredible sense of freedom. Keep in mind that with that freedom comes the responsibility to keep your work station consistently ergonomic. Your body will thank you.