I am not a big fan of standing all day at work, neither do I believe that sitting makes your feet relaxed. In all due honesty, I would certainly like to believe so that standing all day at work can do a real number on your feet, legs and especially your back muscles. We wouldn’t want to be at the receiving end of such discomfort. Almost in every country around the world, numerous foot injuries related to work are reported every year just because of the taxing environment your feet have to go through during the day. This in results hampers you from carrying out your tasks, making it a living hell. What happens then is that you start registering for sick-leaves. This in results greatly hampers the productivity of the company and the individual himself. So irrespective of what profession you are in, rather it be a doctor, engineer, chef, standing at the petrol pump, cutting hairs in a saloon or anything that requires you to be standing all day; it is wise to invest a little time and effort and do your own due diligence to ensure you provide your feet with the maximum comfort and support that they deserve and thus leaving you with soothed and comfortable feet at the end of the long day.
WHAT PROBLEMS CAN ARISE DUE TO STANDING ALL DAY AT WORK
To name a few; discomfort, fatigue, tiredness, numbness, soreness and backaches are a common thing that are reported due to standing all day at work wearing shoes that aren’t comfortable. Those of us whose job revolves around standing all day at work, are much more prone to having pains in shin, calves, knees, joints and other lower muscles of the body. There is another study that claims that majority of the work-related injuries reported were due to the musculoskeletal disorders, and out of which 17 percent were connected directly to the lower body muscles. That’s a staggering number!
Not to scare you off, but this is not the end of it. Other problems that may arise due to prolonged standing include worsening of your coronary conditions, varclose veins and other problems such as chronic venous insufficiency. Another study claims that those who tend to sit all day at work are less likely to pick up a lower back pain as compared to those who stand all day at work.
For example sake, try to stand all day at work if you are normally accustomed sit all day at work. And the opposite for those who stand all day at work, try sitting and working. You would if not immediately but at the end of the day, see a difference between how your body is reacting to this change. Standing all day at work is never comfortable and that too if what you have on your feet isn’t suited or adjusted to mitigate the environment.
Few of the problems that arise due to standing all day at work are:
- Lower back pain
- Varclsoe veins
- Plantar fasciitis
- Sore muscles
- High blood pressure
- Pregnancy complications
- Stiffness in your neck and the shoulders
- Chronic cardiovascular diseases
- A plethora of other foot problems
- Swollen legs
- Poor blood flow
- Damage in your joints
YOU SHOULD ALWAYS WEAR THE RIGHT SHOE
The normal myth behind choosing a shoe for comfort is that one should always opt-in for a flat shoe. Well, that’s not the case in its entirety. Since these shoes aren’t as comfortable as one thinks they might be. Especially if your job involves you standing a lot or carrying out your tasks while standing. According to a recent study done by Canada’s Occupational Health Clinics for Ontario Workers Inc., your shoes should have a bare minimum heel between the ranges of ¼ and 2 inches.
On top of this, the shoes that you choose for work should always have decent arch support. This helps you to reduce weakness and soreness in both your legs and the feet. But worry not, if your current shoes aren’t providing enough arch support, then you can get away with buying yourself a decent pair of arch support insoles. These are however inexpensive but do keep in mind their longevity. These tend to wear out at a rapid pace and thus you would need to keep at least a pair or two to be able to sustain.
ALWAYS MAKE SURE YOUR SHOES FIT YOUR SIZE
Do not be like me, who always goes for shoes that are small. Nah! Kidding. I always strive to go for a pair that is measured by the clerks at the shoe store and pick up a pair that fits my size. Since each pair of shoe is of a different design and size, and hence there is no one-size-that-fits-all formula applicable especially when you’re buying shoes. Wearing small shoes not only makes you uncomfortable but also cuts off the circulation of blood to your feet. And it’s a big NO to wear these shoes if you are required to stand all day at work. Small shoes cause blisters, make your walking and or standing uncomfortable and thus inviting the uninvited guest; BLISTERS
WHO IS MORE AT RISK?
Foot pain is not dependent on one’s age or gender. This bugger ensures that it makes its place into our live’s if we aren’t careful of what shoes we wear for the task that is at hand. Now I am not saying we should have 100 pairs for different things that we do at work, but essentially the choice of picking up a shoe should primarily not only be its aesthetics and looks. Your first and foremost priority should be to ask yourself, is this pair comfortable when I wear it? If yes, then proceed with the looks and other fancy bells and whistles it comes with. If the shoe is even the slightest of uncomfortable, then steer clear from it and start searching for another pair.
TIPS TO HELP YOUR FEET FEEL COMFORTABLE AT WORK
ALWAYS STRETCH WHEN YOU CAN
This is a very straightforward
way of ensuring that you don’t end up with a stiff muscle. If your job involves
standing all day in one place, then take a break every 45 minutes to walk
around for few minutes. This would not only give your legs and feet a break,
but also allow you to cool down and get some fresh air. Always ensure to
stretch your feet, your legs and lower back muscles to ensure enough of blood
circulation occurs keeping you away from stiffness which results into pain and
Try to some calf lift ups while you are on a break. This helps you mobilize the blood that has been stuck in this area due to you standing all day at work. Do this for 5 to 10 times to ensure enough blood circulation happens for you to be able to get the loathed feeling of tiredness.
Stand right next to a wall with
your face toward it. Now place your hands against the wall and extend one leg
behind your body. Now make sure to apply enough pressure to force your heel
onto the floor and try to extend it as much as you can.
Hold onto the stretch for as long as you can. Now rinse and repeat this process for the other leg.
This is especially helpful when
you are home after a long day at work. Get hold of a bucket of ice cold water
and immerse your feet into it. Make sure you do not prolong this exercise, as
the recommended period of keeping your feet immersed in water is not more than
Ice helps reduce inflammation and the cold from the ice causes our blood vessels to constrict, thus giving us a soothing effect.
This is more applicable to people
who are required to sit and carry out their work all day. It is often
recommended to take short breaks to ease off the stress and relieve your feet
from the discomfort and pain. Our legs tend to swell if kept idle in one
position irrespective if you are standing or sitting at work.
If your workplace allows you to remove your shoes, then please do so every once in a while. Keep your feet in an elevated position. Putting your legs on a chair right next to you also helps.
MASSAGING YOUR FEET HELPS
You can do this in a variety of ways. I am not a traditional guy, so get yourself a tennis ball or a baseball. You may need to convince the young one to lend these to you at home. Put the ball under your feet and roll your foot from toe to heel on it. This will help to stretch the muscles that have gone too tight due to being in discomfort throughout the day. Thus boosting the recovery period of your feet and allowing you are more soothing effect?
TRY TO CHANGE YOUR WORK ENVIRONMENT
If your work place consists of a hard surface flooring and you know that you are going to be spending your whole time in this area, then request for a rubber mat or even a decent rug, and place it onto the floor. Use it for standing since it will cushion the parts of your feet and provide you a layer of comfort and support.
TRY TO ROTATE YOUR SHOES
Always keep an extra pair of shoes for your work. This not only helps to maintain and extend the life on each individual pair, but also your feet. This practice helps to alleviate pain and fatigue incurred by the shoes, by changing the pressure points on the feet, thus providing relief to the areas the foot is accustomed to taking the most stress in one pair of the shoe. This is a great practice and helps ensure that you are always on spot and making sure that your feet stay comfortable throughout the course of the day.
INVEST IN A SUPPORTIVE FOOTWEAR THAT WILL FIT YOUR FEET
This is perhaps the most sought after suggestion which will ensure that you are giving your feet that extra TLC (Tender love and caring) that they deserve. As we have gone through in this article at great length what you can do to ensure your feet stay relaxed, it is best advised to steer clear from uncomfortable foot wear. To ensure that your feet are kept comfortable at all times, it is vital to invest in a decent pair of shoes that provide extra cushioning and supportive infrastructure. Your ideal she should not be snug, it should never be tight, and should always fit your size. Do keep in mind that you should not go over board when buying your next pair of shoes, since our body’s biology works in a way that our foot size keeps on changing as we age. So if you are to invest a few hundred dollars in a pair thinking it would last you for a decade, then you are in for a surprise. This is however not applicable on all the shoes in the market, but majority of the manufacturers do not suggest their consumer to keep on wearing the same shoe for more than 5 years.
AT THE END, SEE YOUR PODIATRIST
If following my recommendations above, your foot pain is still persistent; then it is best advised to schedule an appointment with your doctor and explain to them you’re working routine and any other physical activities that you are involved in. Basis which they would perform a complete analysis on you to rule out any other serious health issues and propose a medication to counter the issue that you are facing.