How can you ensure your summer vacation is as comfortable and as injury-free as it is fun? Let’s take a look at the top tips for keeping it ergo this summer
1. Gather Your Ergonomic Beach Equipment For Summer Vacation
All winter, you dreamt about lying out on a beach towel, baking in the summer sun. But not only is this vision enough to give your dermatologist a heart attack, it’s also not a great vision for your ergonomist, either. Sand, despite all appearance, is hard and lumpy, and on its own. It won’t provide nearly enough support for your neck and back. You can hack this on your own by bringing along extra towels, which you can then ball up and use as a pillow and as lumbar support. Your situation will also be somewhat improved if you opt instead to sit in a beach chair. All the more so if you opt for an ergonomic version, which will provide padding in all of the right places.
2. Try Yoga At The Office
Yoga and even basic stretching is an essential part of avoiding repetitive strain injuries (RSIs) in the office, as both challenge your muscles to work in new and different ways. If yoga has intimidated you previously, summer vacation is the perfect opportunity to dip your toes into this ancient discipline. You’ll be in a new mindset and ready to step out of your comfort zone. What’s more, many resorts offer yoga as part of their stay packages. And if you’re headed to a scenic setting, like the beach, mountains, or plains, sunrise or sunset yoga will restore you like nothing else quite can. Best of all, when you return home, you’ll have picked up a great new habit.
3. Wear Good Walking Shoes
Ah, the siren call of sandals. We know, we know, it’s hard to resist the allure of feeling an ocean’s breeze caress your toes. And let’s face it, next to the smell of sunblock, the sound of flip flops pretty much define summer. Unfortunately, they’re an ergonomist’s — and a masseuse’s and an orthopedist’s and a chiropractor’s and a physical therapist’s — worst nightmare. Walking in flip flops requires your muscles to shift and strain to keep the shoe on your foot. This has radiating effects throughout your legs and lower back. And we’re not even going to mention how little arch and ankle support this brand of footwear offers.
If you must go the sandal or flip flop route, just make sure to pay a little extra for a thick sole and a good grip, as well as for a little arch support. And please just promise us to limit the amount of walking you do in them. It’s one thing to head to the beachside cantina for an hour, another thing entirely to tour an entire city.
4. Pack Light
Whether you’re bringing gifts to the family reunion, you can’t leave home without your entire medicine cabinet. Or you’ve convinced yourself that vacation is that time you really are going to wear that blouse that has sat untouched in the back of your closet for the past ten years, there are many reasons travelers wind up overpacking. Here’s a word of advice: don’t. Chances are, you won’t need most of what you bring, and your musculoskeletal system will thank you for not overstraining it with excess items (as will your wallet, if you plan on checking a bag — those overage fees are killer!). If you must pack heavy, choose an optimal, lightweight travel bag, and if you’re going hiking, make sure that you find a pack that’s specifically measured to fit your body, with plenty of support throughout. And for all that is holy, when you pick your bag up from baggage claim, lift from the legs!
5. Bring Your Mobile Ergonomic Workspace Along
Look, we’d never recommend working on vacation. But, hey, if you’re going to try and get work done on the plane, who are we to stop you? Again. We recommend packing your lightest devices, like your laptop or a tablet. But do bring along a travel ergonomic keyboard, mouse, and tablet and laptop stand so that you can re-create an ergonomic workspace wherever you are. That way, you’ll type the flight away and get it all done so that by the time you arrive, the only thing you’ll be typing up is some electronic postcards…right?
The need for ergonomics doesn’t stop once you leave the office. In fact, you’ll want to pack your ergonomic knowledge in your suitcase right next to your sunblock. The real question is not “what should I pack” (answer: everything ergo), it’s “where are you headed — and can we come along?”
For more information on the importance of ergonomic accessories, contact us, and we will be in touch shortly.