Safety guides and audits to make your job as a safety professional easier

Preventing Aches and Pains



Nail salon workers can get aches and pains from several different things. Here are a few:

  • leaning over a worktable for a long time
  • doing repetitive movements like filing and buffing nails
  • resting hands, wrists, and forearms and/or elbows against hard surfaces or sharp edges of worktables

These are often called ergonomic or musculoskeletal hazards because they affect your muscles and bones. Ergonomics is the science of “fitting the task to the worker” so you are more comfortable and efficient when doing your job. Good ergonomic practices will reduce stress to your body and help you avoid aches and pains.

Reducing Ergonomic Hazards

There are several things you can do to reduce musculoskeletal hazards. Here are a few tips:

  • Use an adjustable chair. Sit so your feet are flat on the floor and your back is supported. You should also use a footrest if your feet do not touch the floor when sitting.
  • Make sure there is enough space between the back of your knees and the front edge of your seat to improve blood flow to your legs.
  • Adjust the lightning. Good lighting can help you see without having to bend over.
  • Use a cushion to raise the client’s hand or foot so you don’t have to bend over as far.
  • Put a towel or foam pad on the edge of the table to soften it for hands, arms, wrists, and elbows.
  • Take frequent breaks and change your positions, if possible.
  • Do gentle stretching exercises in between sessions with clients, such as the ones shown in the next couple tabs.

Stretching Exercises

Neck: Keeping your arms and shoulders loose, tilt your head to one side for two seconds. Then, tilt your head to the other side for two seconds.
lower back and hips
Lower Back and Hips: Lean forward keeping your neck relaxed and your head down. Hold for 8 seconds while breathing slowly. Use your hands to push you back up.
Fingers: Stretch your fingers out and hold for 8 seconds. Relax. Make a claw with your hands and hold for 8 seconds.
Shoulders and Upper Back: Put one hand on your shoulder and look the opposite way. Pull your elbow in and up with the other hand.

Stretching Exercises (Continued)

back of legs
Back of Legs: Place your hands shoulder width apart on a wall or table. Bend your knees, keep hips directly above your feet, and lower your head between your arms.
Neck: Keeping your arms and shoulders loose, turn your head to one side and then the other side. Hold the stretch for two seconds.
inner thighs
Inner Thighs: With your feet wide apart, place both hands on your left knee until you can feel the stretch. Hold for 8 seconds.

Stretching Exercises (Continued)

Shoulders: Lace your fingers and stretch your arms with your palms facing out. Hold the stretch for two seconds.
Ankles: While holding onto a table or wall for balance, put one foot out and point your toe up and down. Draw circles with your foot.
Neck: Keeping your arms and shoulders loose and your head facing straight forward, tuck your chin for two seconds.


Before beginning this quiz, we highly recommend you review the module material. This quiz is designed to allow you to self-check your comprehension of the module content, but only focuses on key concepts and ideas.

Read each question carefully. Select the best answer, even if more than one answer seems possible. When done, click on the "Get Quiz Answers" button. If you do not answer all the questions, you will receive an error message.

Good luck!

1. Ergonomics is defined as _____.

2. How will good ergonomic practices affect you?

3. Which of the following are things you can do to reduce musculoskeletal hazards?

4. What is the purpose of the stretch shown in the image?

5. What is the purpose of the stretch shown in the image?

Have a great day!

Important! You will receive an "error" message unless all questions are answered.