The posture we usually assume has a fundamental influence on our well-being.
The work of the hairdresser and beautician involves a great physical effort aggravated by the many hours spent standing and assuming a bad posture. Repetitive movements, continuous twisting and bending of head and torso, keeping the upper limbs raised for long periods of time, with time determine real diseases of the musculoskeletal and circulatory system, causing pain sometimes unbearable, chronic fatigue, swollen legs, sore feet, bad mood with consequent poor productivity and absence from work.
Musculoskeletal disorders are the leading cause of occupational diseases of hairdressers and beauticians and 40% of the total cost of occupational diseases. One in two hairdressers is affected. In addition to the human cost, the economic cost on national health care is also important.
The major problems caused by poor posture are in the upper limbs, especially the cervical-brachial district. For example, cutting, drying and color work strain joints in different areas of the body, starting with the neck and shoulders, but also elbow, arm and hand.
Many risks are underestimated. The most affected parts of the body are: wrist, hand, fingers 47 %, shoulder 28 %, elbow 14.2 %, multiple damage 8.3 %, knees 1.7 %, ankles 0.3 %.
It is essential to avoid the risks of the profession and assess those from which one cannot escape by fighting them at source, i.e. by disseminating the correct information and investing in training, educating the new generations already in school age. Finally, in the work it is necessary to adopt a series of preventive solutions such as the choice of tools, furniture and ergonomic footwear.
They seem trivial, but they are not when it comes to hours and hours spent standing, which in the long run compromise the well-being of the person, but also the quality of his performance.
In America, for example, hairdressers have been using ergonomic mats around workstations for years to prevent damage from bad posture, and the results are obvious. In a society where the health system is entirely the responsibility of citizens, prevention plays a key role.
In Italy, unfortunately, ergonomic mats have never been adopted, both because workspaces are more limited and because of an aesthetic issue that often sees salons as art galleries at the expense of the health of operators.
I think that the work practiced in the Universe of Beauty has implications in the social and psychological sphere of clients who ask for Beauty and Wellness and this is why every professional must be the first healthy bearer of Beauty and Wellness.
To overcome this serious contradiction, together with my onlus Beauty Force I started the project Stand Happy ®. The research is carried out by a working group led by Prof. Pacini, Postural Ergonomist and creator of the B.A.E. scientific protocol. (Biomechanical Anthropometric Ergonomic), and is oriented to the world of Wellness with the aim of detecting the benefits for the musculoskeletal system resulting from the adoption of special footwear – postural variators – with the same functions of the mat.
The B.A.E. Method allows a correct postural measurement in relation to standards of normality: currently it is the only one existing in the world. The interventions implemented with this method use interfaces that manage standing, walking and chewing.
Our postural control system and consequently our musculoskeletal system have evolved over millions of years to allow us the best possible adaptation to natural terrain.
The most recent phylogenetic studies show that man is poorly adapted to flat ground. No one unfortunately thinks that the natural terrain is uneven in itself. “Just as smoke pollutes the lungs, so flat soil pollutes posture” says Prof. Pacini. It is a fact that among the people who still live in natural conditions and who walk barefoot on uneven ground, such as some African, Mexican or South East Asian populations, back pain, as well as cardio-vascular diseases are unknown.
The foot has a dual role: that of a place of persistent evolutionary work and that of a link between environmental forces (gravity) and internal forces that oppose it (antigravity).
Wellness is at the basis of the vision and pioneering mission of Humanistic Cosmetics, which is committed to spreading as much as possible a new social consciousness more and more in line with the real needs of Beauty professionals, to make them more and more able to give only smiles, also through ergonomic comfort.