There is much discussion these days about posture at work and the advantages of standing desks and ergonomically designed work stations, but commuters also need to be aware of how they sit while travelling to and from work.

Many people travel into London spending two hours day on the train with an onward trip on the tubes/buses/walking. And many of them spend all their travel time sitting, looking down at laptops or mobile phones during their journey.

The human head weighs on average 4.5kg and that is a lot of weight to hold leaning forwards looking down. The main point of strain is at the base of the neck giving pain across the top of the shoulders with some people getting pain down into their arms. For others, the strain is at the base of the skull producing tension headaches.

Car drivers have a different set of problems from the stress of traffic jams and delays to spending hours fixed in one position.

If you’re on a long drive, try and take regular breaks to allow your body to move and get the blood circulating again. Be aware of your position in the car seat – can you put your foot hard down on the peddles without stretching forwards? Is the seat upright enough to stop you reaching too far forwards with your arms? Do not have anything in your back pocket as this can leave you sitting with one side of your pelvis putting strain throughout the spine.

Haslemere Chamber of Trade and Commerce will be presenting an evening entitled Wellness@Work on 22 February at Holy Cross Hospital. The evening will focus on your individual wellbeing with hints, tips and strategies to help you optimise your welfare and hence that of your business.

I will be covering and demonstrating more about workplace posture and how to keep your spine healthy.

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