Q: How did you first get into the trade?
A: “My uncle was a plumbing lecturer and really inspired me to get involved with the trade. I started as an apprentice and have learnt a great deal of my skills on the job. Throughout my career I’ve worked across both domestic and commercial properties, giving me first-hand insight into the demands of different tasks and the impact that these jobs have on your physical health.”
Q: Which parts of plumbing really take their toll on your body?
A: “Working as a plumber, means you’re always putting pressure on your back and knees. There’s regularly a need to bend over or work your back into awkward positions to get the best view or reach a part that is in a difficult spot. Every plumber will agree that the basic act of kneeling down for a long time can leave you stiff when you need to get up. With no lumbar support it’s easy to slouch or practice bad posture, which over time can be really detrimental to your back health.”
Q: How do you remedy this?
A: “Exercise in general is something that can really help with this. When you work out, you're strengthening your core and your muscles, so they can better handle the pressure that work puts on your body. I also make time to regularly stretch, which helps to reduce aches and pains, and I find spending time in the sauna a great way to relax your mind and your joints and muscles.
“There are also fittings on the market these days that make installation that little bit easier and less physically demanding. Flexible push-fit pipe systems like Wavin Hep2O can bend more than traditional pipes, making them quicker and easier to install, even in the tightest of spaces. So, you can be back on your feet quicker and spend less time bent in awkward positions.”
Q: Are there physical parts of your job that help with keeping fit?
A: “Anything that involves a lot of movement is bound to get your heart rate up and help with burning calories. This can include doing a pipe run or moving materials from one area to another. With this in mind, I always try and think about the smartest way to do things, so I’m not double handling materials or taking the hardest route. It’s good to be moving, but it’s also important not to wear yourself out unnecessarily.”
Q: Do you work out outside of work as well?
A: “Fitness has always been a big part of my life. Before I was a plumber I actually competed in Judo and even got to light the Olympic torch for the 2012 London Olympics! For me it’s not just about keeping fit, it’s something that I really enjoy, so I regularly visit the gym after work.
“Nowadays, my fitness regime has changed a bit. In the past, for Judo, I used to have to stay at the same bodyweight, so I wasn’t trying to gain muscle. But as I’ve gotten older, I want to improve my strength and use body-weight training to do this. I often visit the gym on my own, but it’s always great to go with a partner too, that way you can keep each other motivated and learn new techniques.”
Q: Does keeping fit and healthy help you at work?
A: “There’s no doubt that plumbing is a physical trade, and the day-to-day work helps you stay physically active. Your body is vital in getting the job done and is just as important as the technical tools and parts used when installing a new boiler.
"At the end of the day, if I don’t practice good health and fitness, I won’t be physically fit enough to continue working for as long as I want to, and that’s as good a motivation as any to stay healthy.”
Want to keep up with Jayson? Follow his Instagram account @mr.london_plumber_ for more of his day-to-day work.
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