Staying comfortable whilst travelling is especially important for people who have to travel a lot for work. But, even if your reason for frequent travel isn’t work related, it can be easy for regular travel to cause extreme discomfort that lasts days, weeks or even longer.
Below are our top tips for staying comfortable when travelling by plane, train or car.
Staying comfortable when travelling by plane
Both long and short haul flights can cause discomfort if you’re not sitting comfortably and able to get up every now and then to mobilise your limbs.
- Sit up straight when you’re awake. Slouching or leaning will be more likely to cause stiffness or achiness.
- If you want to sleep (particularly on a long-haul flight) tip your chair backwards so that your back remains as straight as possible, instead of leaning to the side or trying to curl up in your seat.
- Get up to use the lavatory. This will allow you to stretch out your whole body. Plus, you need to keep hydrated on a flight, so hopefully you’ll be drinking enough that you need to go anyway!
- Try using a small pillow to support your neck if you’re watching a film or trying to sleep. This can prevent you from getting neck ache if you end up resting your neck on your shoulder should you manage to drop off to sleep.
- Wear comfortable clothes. If possible, make sure that you aren’t wearing clothes that are too restricting or tight.
- Wear layers. You can’t control the temperature on a flight and it’s common to hunch your shoulders when you’re cold, which causes stiffness and achiness that can last long after your flight has landed.
Staying comfortable when travelling by train
- Like on a plane, try to sit up straight when you can.
- If you’re using a laptop on the train, try to position it so that it’s as close to your eye line when facing forwards as possible. Slumping over and gazing downwards for long periods of time won’t just hurt your eyes, it’s likely to hurt your back, too.
- If you’re reading a book or similar, try to take a look up and out of the window every 20 minutes. Staring at something right in front of you for a long period of time can make your eyes tired, so give them a break by focusing on something further away.
- If you think you’re likely to get hot or cold, make sure that you take a jacket or coat with you.
- Forward facing seats are generally more comfortable because the motion of going backwards can cause some people to feel sick or dizzy.
Staying comfortable when travelling by car
- Before you set off, make sure that your lower back has enough lumbar support, so that it’s not likely to move around or bend during your journey.
- Make sure that your head rest is directly behind and positioned in the middle of your head. This way, you’re not relying on your neck to hold your head up all by itself, which can cause a stiff neck, particularly on long journeys.
- Make sure that your seat is high enough so that you don’t have to stretch upwards to reach the steering wheel.
- If you’re stuck in traffic, try not to rest your foot on the clutch for too long. Instead, place both feet on the floor with the handbrake on, which will stop strain in your foot, leg and back.
- For long distances, make sure that you plan in a few stops so that you can get out of the car and stretch.
- If you’re travelling with another person, it’s reasonable to anticipate that their temperature preference may not be quite the same as yours. Take layers so that you can put on or take off clothing, rather than make someone else uncomfortably hot or cold.
Ergonomic assessments for drivers
For drivers in particular, posture can make a big difference to musculoskeletal health. To find out whether your posture is negatively affecting you in the car, you may find that a specialist ergonomic assessment will help.
To book an ergonomic assessment, contact Tracy on 07794 311201 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.