Travelling With Ergonomics

bags_mediumWhether you are commuting or on the road for the majority of the day, do you ever just stop and think – what the heck is in all of these bags?

Shouldn’t we be carrying a lot less considering the miniaturization of all of our devices? Isn’t this supposed to be a wireless, paperless business world?

But if you’re like most people, you probably carry not one bag but two or three to work. What do your shoulders and back think about this?

Whether you’re hitting the road to work or on a business trip, take the time to realize that more isn’t more – it’s just more of a pain in the back and neck.

Next time you’re carrying that heavy bag(s) around:

Ask yourself – what is essential and what can be left at home or the office (especially if you have taken your bags home and not opened them)?

If you are constantly packing a laptop back and forth and you have a home and work computer – look into whether your company allows you to log-in remotely or use a USB drive instead. Consider a wheeled bag for your laptop and/or files. While this does reduce the weight on the spine and the shoulder, it can also tempt us to carry around more and more stuff. This is fine until we have to carry our case up a couple of flights of stairs. The pulling up motion with our shoulder behind the body is a no-no. If the files are essential and stairs and curbs aren’t a problem, they are worth considering. But it’s important to be aware of the potential issues.

Consider a back-pack. This keeps the load balanced on your back. But remember, you still have to lift it to get it on and wear it correctly. Generally, we recommend that our children’s backpack not weigh more than 10-15% of their body weight. Do you lead by example? Pull out your scale and see if you need to put your bags on a diet.