Essential DJ Health Tips That'll Help You Extend Your Career (Really!)

Is DJing bad for your health? Well, as it turns out, it CAN be.  

Good posture will go a long way to better back health

Is DJing bad for your health? Well, as it turns out, it CAN be. Many DJs hunker over their gear for hours at a time and, depending on the height of the deck in relation to the height of the DJ, the result can cause back and neck strain. The problem is that it's much easier to manipulate turntables and controllers when they are relatively low in relation to the DJ's height. So, many DJ lean over their decks in an awkward position causing all kinds of muscle and spine pain. Adjusting the deck height to a more comfortable position combined with maintaining a good posture will go a long way to better back and neck health. 

Excessive head bobbing is a pain in the neck

Why do it? It's not as though DJs need to visually cue other musicians. And, as a practical matter, all that ecstatic nodding and bouncing around could be a hindrance to performing those turntables and/or DJ controllers, leading to mistakes and poor performances. There's no doubt that "feeling the beat" for beatmatching purposes is totally necessary, but wouldn't a simple toe tap do the same thing? And while it may seem like harmless and even an endearing trait to some, studies have shown that excessive head bobbing for long periods of time may be harmful to a DJ's cervical health and, perhaps, lead to chronic back pain and long-term disability.

Inner ear damage

Another possible issue is the potential for inner ear damage. That's right: inner ear, not hearing loss. Though deafness and tinnitus are real threats, incessant nodding of the head can cause the fluid in the inner ear to slosh around a bit too much, which can lead to a loss of balance and coordination. You don't want to fall out of the booth, right? How embarrassing!

Get some sleep!

Then there are sleep issues. DJing is mainly a nighttime gig and most DJs suffer from a lack of sleep. Say you finish a gig at 2am and then get up at 7 to go to the day job or hop a private jet to the next gig. That can be debilitating. Irregular sleep habits can lead to all kinds of health issues, including weight gain and depression. It can also lead to drug dependence to wind you down and then wind you back up again.

Stretch and take a break

So there are definitely risks associated with being a DJ, but thankfully there are ways to mitigate them. One way is to be aware of the risks and to do stretching exercises before the gig and, if possible, take regular breaks to rest and stretch the neck and upper back. Additionally, wear comfortable, padded shoes. No high heels, please. Also, if you're a touring DJ, schedule rest days between the gigs. Your physical and mental heath depend upon it. Now get out there a make 'em dance! 

Learn the art of DJing in this course by Olav Basoski

Art of DJing


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