A Barber's Lot
While is was sitting comfortably in my local barbers chair last week passing the time discussing and comparing our box set binge watching traits , it did get me thinking that barbers/hairdresser life although happy can be a hazardous one. Although it may a highly rewarding occupation it can take its toll physically.
Barbers and hairdressers do long shifts most of which is spent on their feet with their arms in a lifted position doing repetitive movement hundreds of times a day.
Standing on your feet will shift your centre of gravity, placing the weight of your torso through your lower back, knees and feet.
If you have ever stood for long periods of time ,(with the exception of the guards at Buckingham Palace) you tend not stand with your weight evenly distributed through both feet favouring one leg over the other. This puts an added strain on backs ,hips and knee muscles/joints as the body tries to compensate.
Standing on hard surfaces for prolonged periods of time can play havoc with feet ,(especially if they work in one of the cool trendy bare concrete floored salons). Over time this can lead to conditions such as Plantar Fasciitis.
We are not designed to have our arms lifted for long periods of time. Holding this posture can cause problems and pain in shoulders arms and neck, (which in turn can lead to headaches and migraines). Now add in a heavy object like a hairdryer and this only exacerbates the problems.
The repetitive movements involved in both cutting and styling hair can lead to RSI (Repetitive Strain injury) such as Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and painful tight forearms.
So what can be done to reduce the risks ?
Stretch - gentle neck rolls and turns , shoulder shrugs/rolls, stretching the wrists and fingers, shaking out your arms, before and in between clients can really make a difference at the end of a busy day.
Take breaks - (I know this can be difficult in a crazy busy Salon/Barbers especially on a Saturday), but it has been shown that mini breaks can be more beneficial than long ones
Why stand when you can sit. If you have stylists chair use it
Wear comfortable supportive shoes that support the arch of the foot
Make sure client chair is adjusted to the correct height to allow you to work more easily
Ensure the scissors are sharp and get them sharpened regularly - this cuts down on the amount of force your fingers have to do
Drink plenty water - those cushioning disc in your spine need to be replenished after working hard all day along with the rest of your body
Get regular massage. Even a 10-15 min chair massage at your place of work can have a huge impact on your wellbeing.
For More information on how massage can help call 07397524570