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Put ergonomics on your side!

08 Mar 2023 0 Comments

First things first! We need to ensure we understand what we mean by "ergonomics". The formal definition is "the study of people's efficiency in their working environment". Wow! that sounds really fancy but the question is what does it really mean for me...?

As a beautician,

✔️ You work long hours,

✔️ You spend a lot of the time on your feet and/or hunching over,

✔️ You do a lot of repetitive motions day in day out,

✔️ You are using the same beauty tools

✔️ You don't take enough breaks during the day

If these sound like you (and I am sure it does) then you would benefit a lot from looking at your current working conditions and start making some changes and start learning how to adapt your body. Time is money and if you or your employees are out of work due to an injury, then you are loosing money!

Some changes are relatively small and simple to implement. Consider the below for example:

  • Don’t grip your tools too tightly. I promise, they won't jump out of your hands, so a soft, comfortable grip is all that’s necessary.
  • Keep your arms close to you and avoid holding your elbows at 60 degrees or higher for long periods of time. Not only does it hurt to hold your arms up, but it strains the muscles, tendons and ligaments and can give you “tennis elbow".
  • Use an anti-fatigue mat as much as possible. They absorb the shock providing a cushioning effect, this helps to reduce foot fatigue. (Safety note: please ensure they are properly placed on the floor as they can become a tripping hazard)

Next, body position is a key area for attention. Start by paying attention to your posture while performing a beauty procedure. Are you hunching over? Is your neck down and forward? Are your arms away from your body? Are you wearing proper shoes? 

When standing up, pay attention to the following:

  • Make sure you are weight centered and your feet shoulder-width apart. 
  • Remember ESHA (ears, shoulders, hips, ankles) Facing straight ahead, your ears should be directly above your shoulders, your shoulders above your hips and your hips above your ankles. Keep your chest up—not like a gorilla, but enough to feel supported. I like to pretend as if I had a thread pulling my head upwards towards the sky (try it now!) 
  • Lean at the hips while keeping your back straight.
  • Relax! Don’t wear out your muscles trying to remain in good posture. They will become fatigue over time. 

Sit correctly. Be sure to pay attention to your posture and how you hold your shoulders, neck, and head while you work. If needed, adjust your seat or the client’s position so that you don’t have to lean forward to the point of creating strain or tension. Hold your core in and shoulders back.

Now look around your beauty beds, chairs and stools. Are they ergonomically designed for your work? This is when you may have to invest in proper equipment that suits you and your lifestyle (e.g. electric bed, makeup chair, hydraulic stools (with back support), and so on. 

My personal advice is that "Prevention" goes a long way and it's so much better than "Recovery". When working in the office, I have this cushion seat and this back support. On a personal note, I practice Pilates 2-3 and Yoga 2-3 per week. I do lots of walking throughout the day (my goal is to make at least 10K steps) and besides my puppy Santino loves his walking routine! 

If you like this blog article, leave us a comment below and share it with your colleagues!

With Love, Ari xx


Disclaimer: This blog is for general education only and it is not intended to replace professional advice. Always seek advice from a health professional. 


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