Ergonomics For When You Are On-The-Go
Ironically, your body may need a vacation after you’ve had a vacation. Travel can put a lot of strain on your body. Long hours stuck inside an airplane, a car, or any other mode of transportation where you’re sitting for prolonged periods, can leave your body tired, stiff, stressed and sore.
Regardless of whether you travel in first class or in the roomiest of cars, pressures from awkward positions result in blood flow restriction. The progressive build-up of pressure in the blood vessels of your legs is one of the most injurious to your system. In order for the blood to flow properly, muscle contraction followed by relaxation must take place. To reduce the strain on your body, here are a few tips to help fight the damage of traveling constraints. These tips were devised by expert chiropractic doctors. They are:
First of all, warm up for traveling. Before you get inside a car or a plane, take a brisk walk, making sure to stretch your calf and hamstring. Do the same after you’ve arrived at your destination.
Make sure the steering wheel is close to your seat; your knees should be placed slightly above your hips. You should be sitting so that you can comfortably slide your hand between your thigh (near your knee) and the seat. If you can’t do that, you need to readjust your seat.
Seek back support. A support for your back is helpful in offsetting any possible strain, injury, and pain to your lower back. Place the widest part of the support between the bottom of your rib cage and your waistline.
Make sure to exercise your legs while driving. This will help lower the risk of swelling, discomfort, and fatigue. To do this, spread your toes as wide as possible. Then tighten the muscles on your calf, thigh, and gluteal. Roll your shoulders forward and back while your hands are on the steering wheel and you’re looking at the road.
To reduce tension on your arms and hands, make sure to hold the steering wheel at 3 o’clock and 7 o’clock, with occasional shifts to 5 o’clock and 10 o’clock.
Avoid gripping onto the steering wheel; instead tighten and loosen your grip. This will help increase hand circulation and lower muscle fatigue.
Alternate your focal point while driving in order lower the risk of eye fatigue and headaches. Just make sure to keep your eyes on the road!
After driving for a couple of hours, take a break. Do not drive without taking breaks. Fatigue can have very serious consequences, manifesting itself when you least expect it.
Stand up. As you do so, try to feel your spine’s natural “S” curve. When you sit back down, try to maintain that curve by putting pillows or blankets behind you. Place a pillow above the beltline for your back. Tuck another pillow across the gap between your headrest and your neck.
Make sure to check all bags weighing over 5-10 percent of your body weight. Avoid overhead lifting of heavier bags, as this could bring pain to the lower back or neck. When you lift your bags, stand right in front of the overhead compartment and do not lift bags over your head. Keep your head and neck steady.
If you stow items under your seat, make sure the object does not force your to use an awkward movement. Contorting your legs, arms, and feet can present muscle strain or spasms in your upper thighs and lower back. Instead, first sit down, and then rely on your hands and feet to gently glide your bags under the seat.
Alternate position while you’re sitting. This will aid circulation and help you avoid leg cramps. If possible, try to massage your legs and calves. Putting your legs together, move your knees up and down.
Avoid sitting under the air controls; the draft can add tension in your shoulder and neck muscles.
Contact your Chiropractor
By following these tips, you can reduce the risk of strains and pains. And if you do experience pain and stress upon your return, contact your doctor of chiropractic. He or she is a trained expert at diagnosing and treating problems of the spine and nervous system.