Getting back to business: how to avoid poor commuter posture

British commuters encouraged to avoid postural problems by unwinding after their journeys to and from work.

New research released today by Premier Inn reveals that nearly half (48 per cent) of British employees who undertake trips for business complain of tensions in their back and poor posture. Four in ten (39 per cent) of them believe that these journeys are having a knock-on effect on their work performance.

The findings are part of a Premier Inn survey of 2,000 Brits which inspired the UK’s leading hotel chain to partner with leading physiotherapist, Sammy Margo, and create a workout for hotel guests who want to unwind after their commute.

According to the Premier Inn survey, a typical business traveller spends an average of nearly four hours sitting down per day, whether that be travelling, sitting at a desk or in a meeting. This compares to just 33 minutes spent relaxing or 21 minutes exercising.

Over half of the business travellers surveyed (59 per cent) know that it’s important to correct their posture after a long journey however, two thirds (41 per cent) find doing so difficult. More specifically, over two fifths (44 per cent) don’t feel that they have the time or wouldn’t know how to help correct bad posture (40 per cent).

Sammy Margo, chartered physiotherapist, comments, ‘Posture is so important but today’s work culture can inhibit it. There is an epidemic of poor posture and it’s due to our sedentary lifestyles. People frequently come to me with their back in a ‘C shape’ and often, it’s a simply case of knowing the right moves to correct their stance.

‘There are a few very easy things business travellers can do to help after a long journey. The routine I’ve created with Premier Inn demonstrates that it really can be done anywhere, in any space.’

The Premier Inn survey indicates that the New Year could signal a step change because one third (32 per cent) of those surveyed plan to make more of an effort to look after themselves when travelling in 2017.

To help them along, Sammy’s routine for Premier Inn is available here and she has also provided some top tips for business travellers who want to correct any tension or bad posture.

The importance of BBC

Whenever you are sitting in the car, at your desk, in meetings or on a plane make sure that you remember the BBC rule: ‘Bottom to the Back of the Chair’. This encourages you to sit up straighter.

Check your work station

Ensure your space is set up so that it is ergonomically sound. If possible, a standing desk is a good investment.

Mix up your meetings

Try standing and walking meetings to minimise the amount of sitting down. You could make a resolution to stand to take phone calls.

Change your commute

An easy way to get some more exercise is to get off the train a stop early and walk to work or your meeting. If you have a wait at the train station or airport keep moving and walk around.

Think about your bag

To ease the strain on your back swap your heavy shoulder bag for a bag on wheels, a lightweight rucksack or a cross shoulder bag. Or if that’s not possible you could divide the load between two lighter bags.

Consider your footwear

Wear good walking shoes during the day rather than uncomfortable shoes. That way, you feel more inclined to walk.

Mobile phone

Where possible, keep active when talking on the phone and avoid prolonged periods of “ear to shoulder” which can cause tension.

Walk tall

Whenever you are walking, imagine that there is a wall behind you which will help you stand straighter.

Pillows for posture

If you sleep on your side place a pillow between your knees and when sleeping on your back place a pillow between your legs to ease your back.

Karen Plumb, director of business to business at Premier Inn, adds, ‘Premier Inn welcomes millions of business travellers to our hotels every year and many of them arrive after a long journey by car or train. Sammy’s new workout is perfect for those guests who feel the need to counteract any stresses and strains caused by their travel time. It takes very little time to do but can lead to brilliant results.’

Further reading on commuter posture

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the and titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the

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