Working Healthy

Sitting Pretty

The demands of the job put nail techs at risk of developing chronic pain in their shoulders and back. Learn how proper posture can combat the risk by reducing muscle strain and fatigue.

Manicure
<p>Manicure</p>

Shoulders
Don’t: Lean on your elbow as you apply product, shape nails, or polish. This raises the shoulder and tires the strained muscles.
Do: Sit with both feet on the ground and body weight balanced on the ischial tuberosity (butt bones). Keep shoulders straight and core engaged without straining the neck forward as you work. If you need to get closer to the client’s nails, use an elevated hand rest or bend the whole body forward without rolling or hunching the shoulders.

Lower Back
Don’t: Perch at the edge of your chair or lean forward to get closer to the client’s nails. This offers no lower back support and increases muscle fatigue.
Do: Find a chair with good lumbar support and work at a distance that allows you to have both feet on the floor. Wheel yourself forward rather than bending yourself closer.

Hips
Don’t: Twist your body and cross your legs as you work. The twisted spine and compressed leg will increase hip and back pain.
Do: Sit straight, with shoulders forward. Engage your core and straighten your shoulders and back. Keep hips facing the client with feet on the floor. If necessary, purchase a desk with a cutout that allows you to sit straight in your chair, but to still work on the client’s hands from an angle.

Wrist
Don’t:  Bear the weight of the client’s hand and arm by suspending the hand during nail services.
Do: Support the client’s hand to reduce strain on your wrists and shoulders. You can choose a product such as the Wrist Assist or the Pampered Perch, or create your own solution, such as a small, firm pillow that elevates the client’s hand while keeping it in a limp, relaxed position.

Pedicure
<p>Pedicure</p>

Neck
Don’t: Stretch the neck forward to get a close view of the toes and feet. This creates enormous stress on the muscles of the neck and shoulders.
Do: Elevate clients’ feet with a footrest and get an adjustable pedi stool for yourself. The height of the footrest and the height of the stool can be adjusted to bring the client’s foot to the correct height during different stages of the service.

Upper Back and Shoulders
Don’t: Use your own strength to support the weight of a client’s foot. Don’t round the upper body over the toes and feet to get closer to the client. Both put pressure on the muscles between the shoulder blades. Plus, rounded shoulders reduce your ability to open your chest fully when you breathe.
Do: Depend on the footrest to not only bring the foot to a workable height, but also to bear the weight of the foot. You should always be in a position where your shoulders and upper back are straight.

Feet
Your posture will be compromised if any part of the pedicure area restricts your feet and legs. Feet should be flat on the floor, and legs should be able to maneuver freely around the footrest and tub.

Lower Back
Don’t: Perch at the edge of your chair or lean forward to get closer to the client’s nails. This offers no lower back support and increases muscle fatigue.
Do: Find a chair with good lumbar support and work at a distance that allows you to have both feet on the floor. Wheel yourself forward rather than bending yourself closer.

Keywords:   ergonomics     posture  

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Encyclopedia

A device used for shining or polishing nails; a nail buffer is essentially a differently shaped nail file, albeit one with a much bigger cushion...
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