Work within the Sales, Retail and Customer Service sector often requires long hours, including evenings and weekends. This is particularly true during peak seasons.
Although employees in the Sales, Retail and Customer Service sector may spend most of their time on their feet, more often than not their workspaces are confined to just a couple of square feet.
By its nature, the Sales, Retail & Customer Service sector often lends itself to a casual workforce, giving employers the option of taking on more staff when business is booming and reducing their workforce when there is a lull.
While this is an arrangement which can suit both parties, it can also be a significant source of pressure for many employees.
Working in an often fast paced customer-facing environment can be stressful and physically challenging at times. As a result working in this industry can present a number of physical and psychological risks for employees.
These range from physical and psychological fatigue, to stress, and musculoskeletal strain, all of which can have a debilitating effect on employees’ health and wellbeing.
Working on your feet but within a limited range of movement, such as behind a cash register or service desk, can also take a physical toll. Female sales assistants are most at risk, with knee, lower back, ankles and foot injuries the most common.
Regular activity helps improve your overall health and wellbeing, and can assist you in protecting yourself from work-related health risks.
Adding regular exercise to your routine can also assist in:
There are various benefits to exercising throughout the day. It all adds up, and every little bit is better than nothing. Why not try splitting up your workout throughout your shift:
Get outside and active during your lunchbreak
Take a walk around the block, or take part in lunch time stretches/exercise sessions. A great way to relieve stress and use of your lunchbreak to help fit exercise into your busy schedule!
Perform dynamic movements
Even if you are confined to a small space (like behind a counter) you can still perform some simple dynamic movements in small spaces including:
Alternating knee flexion: Bending your knee and trying — without going beyond your natural range of motion — to touch your heel to your buttocks with one leg and then the other, will help loosen up the quadriceps, the four major muscles in front of the thighs.
Figure-8 hip rotations: Circling your hips in a figure-8 motion will both prevent hip tightness and increase circulation in the lower extremities by shifting your balance from one side to the other.
Static stretches: As the name implies, static stretches are performed holding a particular stretch. If performed correctly, static stretches can be effective even if held for 20 seconds, perfect for a busy retail, sales or customer service worker between customers.
Accredited Exercise Physiologist (AEP)
An accredited exercise physiologist can assist in developing a tailored strategy to assist in being more physically active at work.