Tattoo Shop Ergonomics
What is ergonomics?
Ergonomics is the scientific study of how equipment, tools, and furniture can be designed and used more efficiently.
Who should take a tattoo shop ergonomics course?
• Tattoo Artists who want to improve their workplace comfort, safety, and productivity
• Tattoo Shop Owners who want to provide a safe and healthful workplace
Tell me more.
As a tattoo artist, you know that your work puts a lot of stress on your body. You sit for long periods of time in awkward positions. You bend, lean, and twist. You make repetitive movements with a vibrating tattoo machine. Over time these workplace activities can damage your muscles, bones, tendons, nerves, and joints.
By taking Tattoo Shop Ergonomics, however, you can learn how to increase your comfort and reduce your risk of injury.
After you complete this course, you should be able to:
• Understand some of the basic principles of ergonomics
• Recognize the early signs and symptoms of tattoo artist work-related injuries
• Identify the causes of these injuries
• Maintain a spine-friendly posture while tattooing
• Select, and correctly use, ergonomically-designed furniture, equipment, and tools
Please note that the information presented in this course is for your general knowledge only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider.
What else should I know about this tattoo shop ergonomics course?
Tattoo Shop Ergonomics is presented in an interactive story format that deals with real-life problems and solutions. A course preview is available and will give you a good idea of what to expect. Course resources include an ergonomic tip sheet and an ergonomic checklist. These can be downloaded and printed.
At the end of the course, there is a course review and a short final exam.
Once you've successfully completed the course you'll able to print a certificate of completion.
What have ergonomic research studies discovered about tattooing?
Despite the popularity of tattoos, very few scientific studies have been done on tattoo artist work-related health problems. Ohio State University, however, has done two pioneering research studies on this topic.
In 2014, Ohio State researchers did a survey at the Hell City Tattoo Festival in Columbus, Ohio. Of the 34 tattoo artists who participated, the researchers found that 94 percent complained of back pain, 88 percent complained of headache, and 85 percent complained of neck pain. See Tattoo Ergonomics Study.
In 2017, Ohio State did an additional study that measured the muscle exertions of 10 tattoo artists while they were working. The study found that all of the tattoo artists exceeded recommended exertion limits in at least one muscle group and that some of the artists were at high risk for injury.
The researchers concluded "... tattoo artists experience high levels of discomfort in the neck, shoulders, elbows, hands/wrists, upper back, lower back, legs/feet, and eyes, and in many cases reported that their discomfort was made worse by performing their work tasks, primarily tattooing. Some tattoo artists may have to leave their chosen profession due to the extent of their discomfort, while many work in pain."
Why should you care about tattoo ergonomics?
You love being a tattoo artist. You want your career to continue as long as possible.
The research done by Ohio State only confirms what you already know – the stress tattooing puts on your body can affect your health and your ability to continue working.
So, if you don't have any work-related pain now, learn how the principles of ergonomics can help you prevent injuries and disorders from developing in the future.
If you already have work-related pain, consult a medical professional who can treat your current injuries or disorders and then design a program to keep those problems from reoccurring.
Being a tattoo artist doesn't mean you have to suffer from work-related pain.
Ergonomics can help you have a long, productive, and healthy career.