Women’s Health Week is recognized May 12–18, 2019. The US Dept. of Labor (DOL) estimates that collectively, 61% of the combined workforce of salon, spa, fitness and personal care professionals is female. The CDC estimates that the combined impact of chronic conditions and workforce injuries is $225.8 billion per year, or $1,685 per employer. And because in these industries, a significant percentage of the female workforce is self-employed in some capacity, it means that every year, illness, stress, and injuries could cost you up to $2k—so it pays to take control of your health!
Be Aware of the Health Risks of Your Occupation & Be Proactive
For women in the health, beauty, and fitness industries, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports the following types of chronic conditions or workplace injuries:
- Repetitive Strain Injuries (RSIs), such as carpal/cubital tunnel syndrome
- Neck/back injuries
- Exposure to workplace chemicals, fumes, and particulates
- Injuries such as slips/trips/falls or injuries related to workplace equipment
Whether you work in a salon, spa, or fitness center, be proactive with your health. First and foremost, take care of your joints—particularly in the hands and knees, which get the most workout in these industries. Next, wear braces or supports when working longer than usual. It’s equally important to take frequent rest breaks. Stretch and rotate the joints that perform most of your labor.
Then, adjust your workstation, to ensure it’s suited to your workflow. Let your body dictate your work area – don’t strain or overreach! Spa professionals and nail techs should invest in protective masks, fans, and dust collectors. These safeguard the eyes, nose, throat and lungs from harsh fumes and particulates. Invest in quality shoes and mats to relieve pressure on your knees, ankles, and hips. Finally: Listen to your body. Learn to recognize your body’s signs of fatigue. Avoid forcing yourself to “push through” when you know you’ve hit the wall.
Build Yourself Better, One Habit at a Time
Because experts agree that it only takes 2 weeks of consistent changes to form a new habit, consider making small, manageable adjustments to your lifestyle. Little changes can add up in big ways, improving your health inside and out:
- Try replacing one caffeinated drink with water every day
- Take a 15-minute break to stretch
- Perform some simple yoga moves at your workstation
- Adjust your sleep hygiene for a better night’s rest – limit screen time when you’re in bed
- Include one new fruit or vegetable into your diet
- Schedule an appointment for self-care – ideas include a long bath at home, a massage, acupuncture, etc.
Reduce Stress to Increase Productivity
Health isn’t limited to just the body—it’s also a state of mind! And as we all know, mindfulness is the first step to improved health, habits, and a better you on the job. Did you know that the worldwide cost of stress, anxiety, depression & other mental health issues is $1 trillion in lost productivity? Equally important are your mental health, stress, sleep habits, diet, and activity, as well as your self-care routines. Consequently, what you do at home comes with you to work. It’s hard to maintain a healthy business if you aren’t taking care of yourself. Stress and fatigue can lead to mistakes at work, strained relationships with your customers and co-workers, and an overall reduction in your quality of life and your workplace productivity.
Healthy Mind, Healthy Body, Healthy Business
Try meeting with a mental health care provider to help manage your stress levels, or use Vagaro to find a fitness program to help your mind and body achieve balance. You might also consider a massage therapist, an acupuncturist, or an esthetician. When it comes to your health, don’t be afraid to try new things until you find what works for you and your body. Every week, set aside some time to reflect, and ask yourself:
- How is your mental health and stress level?
- Did you move enough this week?
- How have your sleep habits, diet, and daily habits affected your work this week?
- Were there days you were exhausted?
- How did you care for yourself?
- What patterns have you noticed over time?
- Where might you have opportunities to practice better habits this week?
We’d love to hear your self-care tips! Tweet us @Vagaro & tell us how you make your health a priority!
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