The figure of 10,000 steps per day—which covers roughly five miles—has been kicked around in the media as the goal for when you want to establish and maintain a healthy level of activity. But is that a valid number? And one you can achieve on an average day, working in the salon? Many of your peers answer a resounding “yes,” even if not as energetically as celebrity stylist and educator Martino Cartier. “

When I’m in the salon or at a show, I log 15,000 to 18,000 steps on my Nike Fuel,” Cartier says. “When home, it’s only about 3,000. Work life is much better!”

Most hairdressers who answered an informal MODERN SALON Instagram survey (see page 88) commented that they average 7,000-10,000 steps when working. Evidently, standing behind the chair doesn’t mean standing still. And there are opportunities— and good reason—to increase and maximize your stepping power in and around the salon.

Research published by the National Institutes of Health confirms that walking 10,000 steps a day is a good goal for most people. Besides building your leg muscles and exercising your heart, walking has the benefit that if you’re stepping more, you’re stationary less. That sounds obvious, but sitting or being stationary for most of the day increases your risk for a multitude of health problems.

As Cartier notes, counting steps is easier than ever. In addition to wearable gadgets and technology available today to help monitor your level of fitness, an ordinary pedometer also gets the job done. Free or affordable apps for your phone are popular, too.

Walking is also a popular option when people are trying to lose weight. According to City of Hope, the National Weight Control Registry reports that walking was the most frequently chosen physical activity among participants in the registry’s study who increased their physical activity as part of a weight-loss goal.

However, activity alone will not guarantee weight loss. Experts agree that, to lose weight, you must couple exercise with a decrease in calorie intake. If you cut sugar and focus on fruits, vegetables and lean proteins, you’ll be able to eat average portions and still lose weight. As a hairdresser, you’re on your feet—but you’re standing, not walking. You’re busy all day, and you must find time to sit down and eat for energy. Still, if you examine your schedule, you might be able to fit some of your 10,000 steps into the workday. Here are a few ideas:

  • Park in the back of the parking lot, or walk to work occasionally if you can.
  • Wear “work shoes” that have enough support they can double as walking shoes so you’re ready when the opportunity arises.
  • Check your appointments the night before, and book yourself a walk during any 15-minute or longer holes in your book.
  • If you need to run an errand, walk instead of drive.
  • Find a walking buddy among your team members, and when your schedules align, you can meet before work or stay after work and walk the neighborhood together. The Walking Site ( emphasizes that you have to find your own motivation. Do you want to feel better and have more stamina? Be a good role model for your children? Are you trying to relieve pain from standing all day so that you can have a long career? The site lists these benefits of walking, and one or more of them might resonate with you:
  • Burns calories
  • Strengthens back muscles
  • Easy on your joints
  • Strengthens your bones
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Cuts cholesterol
  • Reduces risk of heart disease, diabetes,
  • stress and more
  • Improves sleep
  • Improves mood and outlook on life
  • Can be done almost anywhere
  • Requires no equipment or money

Bottom line—after a long, busy day in the salon, going for a brisk or a long walk may seem like the last thing you want to do. However, it may be just what you need.


Get Your Steps in at ABS

The professional beauty equivalent of “power walking” is to attend a world-class salon trade show and educational event. So much to see, so much to do, so many rewarding steps to take!

This year, America’s Beauty Show, which is owned and produced by the salon professional members of Cosmetologists Chicago (CC), is stepping up to present the first Healthy Hairdresser Day on Sunday, March 22, right in the middle of the three-day Chicago event.

ABS and CC are year-round sponsors of MODERN SALON’s Healthy Hairdresser program, and are dedicating March as their Challenge month (see page opposite for details).

“It’s a natural fit for ABS to support the mission of Healthy Hairdresser,” says Denise Provenzano, president of CC and owner of Zano Salons in suburban Chicago. “We have planned fun and important ways to build awareness about the need for pros to take care of themselves as well as their salon guests.”

To encourage a healthy, fast-paced show experience, the first 1,000 attendees who visit the Cosmetologists Chicago membership booth #101 on Healthy Hairdresser Day Sunday, March 22, will receive a free pedometer from ABS. Those who return by end of the day with 5,000 or more steps logged will receive a special Healthy Hairdresser gift bag stocked with samples, goodies and support from MODERN’s Healthy Hairdresser 2015 sponsors. Those who cannot make it to this year’s show can still participate in the challenge online at and are automatically entered to win one of 15 gift bags and a complimentary membership to CC, which includes free tickets to ABS 2016.

For more information or to register for ABS 2015, visit


CUT-A-THON JOIN US! Support the #1 Children's Hospital in the U.S. and Cut Hair for Cures

WHO: John Frieda and Gail Federici are bringing salons together for HairRaising, to raise $1 million dollars for the #1 ranked Pediatric Hospital and Research Center in the U.S., Boston Children's Hospital.
WHAT: A massive one day cut-athon event. Give your clients a haircut, for a set minimum donation. All proceeds benet Boston Children’s. Turnkey, no cost event.
WHEN: Sunday, April 12, 2015.
WHERE: Participating salons nationwide.
WHY: Boston Children's Hospital not only provides life-saving care to the world's sickest kids, but it's also home to the innovations, treatments and cures that globally impact children and adults alike. Boston Children's is ranked #1 in 8 out of 10 specialties including Cancer and Cardiology. By simply participating in this one day event, you can help save countless lives. “Participating in HairRaising is a total win-win for Blo Blow Dry Bar. The event brings our sta together for a critical cause, our customers get to look good and feel good, and we've even gotten some new clients who came to us through the program.” - Nathan Alan, Blo Blow Dry Bar
HOW: Visit: to register your salon or learn more.


For reprint and licensing requests for this article, Click here.