Working Healthy

Pedicure Poise

Pedicures can be quite tough on a nail tech’s body. Holding legs while ­clipping toenails, massaging calves and ankles, and scrubbing down thick callus can all quickly lead to sore backs and arms — and cranky dispositions. Here’s what some techs have done to keep their poise during strenuous pedicures.


Perfect Posture

"We use a cute stool. It’s not fancy or designed for posture, but when we use it we make sure our backs are straight and not hunched over. It works out pretty well and with the elevated chairs we have basically eliminated back aches and other physical stress from pedicures.”

Shari Finger
Finger’s Nail Studio
West Dundee, Ill.



“At our salon, the first thing we did was elevate the pedicure thrones. The room used to be an office space, and I had my husband build the platform out of 2’ x 8’ boards and covered them with wood to make the floor. Then we had a professional plumber install the plumbing. Having the clients ­elevated is essential for techs to keep their backs straight and not slouch.

And the platform is actually perfect for anyone who wants to put a ­pedicure throne on a cement floor. Normally you have to break the ­cement to route the plumbing to the machine, but this way you can route the plumbing without all the added mess and expense. You just route the ­piping under the platform.”

Amy Becker
Masterworks Salon and Spa
Mequon, Wis.


“I had my husband build a platform and bought two very comfortable leather reclining chairs with foot stools. The chairs were on the platform and we used the stools to sit on during pedicures. And once the pedicure basins were set up we’d prop the client’s feet on top of them.

This platform helped my back more than anything. It was two steps high and covered with ceramic tile for easy cleaning. I have since sold this salon, but if I ever own one again I’ll be sure to have another built, because it was worth every penny.”

Darlene Sammons
Miller-Motte Technical College & Delta Career Education
Chattanooga, Tenn.


Foot Rests

“We are currently using the Continuum Footspa units and tech chairs, and these footspas have wonderful leg supports that take the pressure off of our arms and backs. The Continuum tech chairs are also adjustable so it’s pretty comfortable for us to do pedicures.  
They’ve been a great addition in our salon remodel. We got them about a year ago and my technicians have absolutely loved the leg rests. They really help ease back and neck pain.”

Kim Anderson
Spalon Montage
Edina, Minn.


“At Bliss our design studio collaborates with a training team to understand the nail service protocols and deliver optimal, ergonomic seating for both the client and technician. We have excellent pedicure areas and one of the best features about them is the footrests.

When doing pedicures, we have the client put the heel of her foot on a self-adjusting foot rest so the technician doesn’t have to hold the leg and foot up. It also keeps the tech working at the same height as the client’s foot so there is no cramping in the neck and shoulders. Technicians also need to remember to take quick stretching breaks between some appointments.”

Marion Fenwick
Bliss Spa
New York


The Tech Chair

“I just started at a new place and our spa has the ­European Touch ­Pedicurist Chairs with a back. They really help support your back and I make it a point to sit tall and straight and always bend straight forward at my hips rather than slumping. The slumping always causes me issues and I have learned to not do it.”

Kristi Bell
Spectrum Salon and Day Spa
Fresno, Calif.


“It depends on where I have to go, but normally I sit on the floor and use pillows to prop myself up, then have the client sit in a chair and rest her feet on the top of my pedicure tub. Other times I’ll bring my stylist stool and make sure the client sits higher than me so I don’t strain my back while giving pedicures. The main thing is making sure the client sits higher than you so her feet are at a comfortable height for you to work.”   

Melissa Bozant
independent mobile technician
Los Angeles


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