Sunday, February 10, 2008

Remote Work and Your Health

It’s rapidly becoming apparent to the masses that remote work can be good for the environment (less driving, less office space, etc.); however, there are some aspects of remote work that can be hazardous to your health.

This post is inspired by a section on bags & briefcases in this month’s Women’s Health magazine. In between extolling the virtues of different bags and briefcasses, the magazine plopped in an interesting fact: doctors recommend that you carry no more than 10 to 15% of your body weight.

The average woman, according to the magazine, already carries 6.5 pounds of essential items (wallet, phone, makeup, keys, lotion, iPod, etc.). For the remote working woman, the tally begins to add up quickly. In addition to the 6.5 pounds of essentials, she also may carry:
  • Laptop (6-10 lbs)
  • Laptop support (mouse, power, flash drives, etc)
  • Other chargers (phone, iPod, etc.)
  • Paper/work materials

Having a job where I travel and sometimes work from home, I invested in an ergonomic backpack to help shoulder the weight. This was great…except that I would cram easily 40 lbs of stuff into it…that would mean I need to weigh between 266 and 400 lbs to carry this load (for the record, I do not).

The average American woman weighs 140 lbs (source: http://www.inch-aweigh.com/dietstats.htm) - meaning that the maximum she should carry is 14 to 21 lbs. I’ve remedied my personal situation by purchasing a smaller, lighter backpack, and when my laptop lease is up, I’m going to lobby for a lighter version.

Just something to think about as we transition more toward mobile workforces.

1 comment:

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