If your employees are on the road for extensive periods of time, they may experience pain resulting from sitting for prolonged periods if their bodies aren’t aligned properly. Over time, this pain can develop into chronic issues.
When in a car or truck, whether driving or as a passenger, it’s a good idea to get out every couple of hours to walk around and stretch. This activity gets the blood circulating effectively and repositions muscles that may lock into place.
Beyond this, be sure your employees are aware of these ergonomic measures for staying aligned while on the go.
Adjust Your Posture
- Minimize twisting or bending of your body.
- Prevent yourself from slouching or jutting your neck forward.
- Regularly rotate your head to stretch your neck muscles.
Adjust the Vehicle
- Move the seat forward until you can easily reach the pedals without straining.
- Adjust the back of the seat so it provides support along the length of your back, and avoid being too reclined (it causes you to bend your head too far forward).
- Adjust the headrest to support your head (this also reduces the risk of injury if there’s a collision).
- Use a pillow to support your lumbar area if your back does not feel in natural alignment.
- Adjust the steering wheel so you can reach it easily with slightly-bent elbows. There should be enough room between the wheel and your knees so that they’re not knocking into it.
- Adjust your mirrors so you can easily view surrounding traffic without having to crane your neck.
- If driving in the sun, use sunglasses to avoid straining your eyes.
- If you have to work on a laptop in your parked car, make sure you’re not twisting your body, which causes back strain.
- Move to the passenger seat or a back seat so you’re not obstructed by the steering wheel and forced to contort your body.
- Try to make your body as parallel to your laptop screen as possible.
- Don’t hunch over your laptop. Elevate it on a stack of books if needed.
It’s easy to forget ergonomics while on the go, because there’s so much more to occupy our minds — transportation details, schedules, etc. And when we’re not in a traditional office environment, we don’t have the typical reminders. So emphasizing the importance of mobile ergonomics and teaching your employees how to make adjustments to compensate on the road will help them practice ergonomics that will prevent pain issues later on.