From The Ergoweb® Learning Center

Not All Fun and Games for Sports Mascots

Thought playing catcher was the biggest ergonomic nightmare on the field? Don’t tell the mascot.

A recent article on details the work-time woes of these fuzzy fun-makers. From excessive heat, battles with the beak, malodorous smells, to impaired vision and the physical pain of hauling around a disproportionate chicken head on their shoulders, a day on the field for a team mascot is no metaphorical walk in the park.

“. . .[I]f it’s 80 degrees, you’re operating at 120. And you have to keep your wits about you,” said Paul Pierson, a mascot with the Atlanta Braves and the Harlem Globetrotters in the article The Seedier Side of Fur and Fun by Patrick Hruby. Pierson points out that some of the problems arise from the combination of a mascot’s impaired vision (associated with the giant costume heads) and small children underfoot. According to the article, over one-half of all mascots have had a heat-related injury, nearly as many suffer from lower back pain, and almost a fifth of the mascots have sustained an on-the-job knee injury. Lastly, there are the assaults from fans and even opposing team managers