Does your job involve standing all day? If so you’ll know just how tough this is on your feet and legs. It’s tiring, uncomfortable and painful. You may not have a choice because of your job, but happily there are ways of making constant standing a lot more bearable.
It’s wise to take action now. If you don’t, all sorts of painful and potentially serious conditions can follow: varicose veins, bunions, plantar fasciitis, high blood pressure, poor circulation and backache, to name but a few.
5 tips to make being on your feet all day easier
1. Wear the Right Shoes
Your shoes should support your arches, leave room for the toes, and fit properly – not too tight or too loose. Custom made orthotics is one way of ensuring a good fit and providing the right support.
You could try wearing more than one pair of shoes during the day. Keep an extra pair of shoes at work and alternate between the two. Start with a more flat pair (too flat are not recommended) and swap to something with a slightly raised heal later on. By altering the foot position you’ll force your feet to use different muscles, so nothing will be overused.
And – it’s worth saying this again – high heels are a very bad idea in the workplace. They focus the weight in all the wrong places, and the effect on joints, muscles and posture will be considerable and long-term.
2. Stimulate the Flow With Compression Socks
A healthy blood flow relies on movement. Too much standing in one spot (or sitting for that matter) slows the flow and causes blood to pool in the veins of the lower legs and feet. This leads to uncomfortable swelling, fatigue and potentially blood clots (over time).
Compression socks squeeze veins and tissues to stimulate blood flow and keep everything moving. Don’t worry, there are all sorts of colourful and stylish designs available. We’ve moved on from the grim, black stockings we used to wear on long-distance flights.
3. Keep Moving
You may think that moving about too much would add to the fatigue. In fact, the opposite is true. It’s best to keep moving a little if possible, so try not to stay in one spot for too long. Wiggle the toes, shift your weight and stand in different positions, or walk around a little. These measures all prevent pressure being focussed on the same spot all day long, and that’ll give aching muscles a break.
4. Strengthen Your Legs
Hamstring and calf stretches are great for easing and toning aching muscles. You can do this at home and even at work if you have a quiet moment. Activities such as yoga and Pilates are also good for improving strength and flexibility. The fitter you are generally, the lower the impact of continual standing will be.
If you don’t have much time even a few minutes a day will help, but don’t forget even stretches need to be done correctly to avoid injury and get the most benefit. As with all exercise, you should talk to a professional before starting to ensure you’re doing the right thing for you.
5. A Podiatrist Can Help
At Feet By Pody, we’re specialists in all lower limb-related conditions. We’ll advise you on suitable footwear and orthotics, and give you exercises to ease aching joints and strengthen muscles.