I recently attended The Power Conference, a Maryland Women’s Business event, and consequently have been thinking a lot about how to protect myself (and you!) from the aches and pains that can accompany an all day or longer affair.
But fear not! Follow these few simple tips and you can confer and network in comfort!
* Shoe Choice Yes, you read correctly! I know we all love those fashionable heels. But high heels = back pain. Think about it honestly: what’s more important? Fashion? or avoiding long term foot and back pain? Find a cute pair of low heeled shoes, or even a snazzy, colorful pair of sneakers, and do your back and feet a big favor. You’ll be able to network longer and comfortably, and won’t be aching to leave the conference early! (and who knows, you may start a trend when your fellow attendees see you breezing through the day in comfort)
* Low Pressure Support Stockings Flight attendants have the right idea! They’re on their feet for hours at a time, and need all the support they can get. So do we! Look for socks or stockings (10-15mmHg, low pressure) which may be labeled for travelers. This will help keep up the circulation in your legs, and you won’t even think about how long you’re on your feet. ***Please note, if you have leg swelling, talk to your doctor!!
*Chairs We all know that most venues use those one-size-fits-nobody stackable chairs. They are extremely uncomfortable, and get less and less comfortable as the meeting wears on. What to do??? If you are tall, try stacking a second chair on top of the first. This will give you enough height so that you’re not all scrunched up, and you will be able to sit in a more ergonomically correct position. Are you short? Do your feet just barely reach the floor? Take that conference bag filled with goodies, put it on the floor, and rest your feet on it; again the result is better posture and more comfort.
* Meeting at a table Remember the chair tips above, but also, bring a 3-ring binder with you (it will slide right into the aforementioned conference bag). When you’re meeting at a table, set it there with the slant tilted toward you. Place your work or conference materials on the slant, and they will be positioned properly for you to work.
I hope these hints have given you some food for thought. We can’t set up fully ergonomic work spaces at events, but we can certainly make adjustments to keep ourselves comfortable and able to concentrate on the business at hand. After all, we want to get every bit of benefit from the meetings we attend.
So go to your next conference, try the tips to protect yourself from aches and pains, and report back – didn’t it make a big difference?