Does your job involve a lot of standing? If so, you may not realize how much stress you’re putting on your feet. Standing up for long periods of time is actually harder on your body than walking is. Think about this: when you’re walking, one foot at a time is bearing your weight and moving you forward while the other is pretty much resting. But when you’re standing in one place, both of your feet are continually active.
Walking also ensures that your blood is circulating through your legs and feet, while standing in one place causes blood to pool in your lower limbs, causing discomfort and even numbness, until you move them once again.
Standing around is hard work on your feet. If your job involves a lot of standing – short-order cook, dishwasher, meat cutter, cashier, bartender, etc. – here are some questions to take with you on the job. Answer them to keep your feet comfortable and safe:
- How hard is the floor? Consider the flooring you’re being asked to work on. A concrete, ceramic tile or similarly hard, unyielding surface is extremely tiring for your feet. Constant standing on hard surfaces can cause arches to flatten, leading to painful conditions such as flatfoot or plantar fasciitis. If it’s not practical to change the flooring (softer floors that give some yield include rubber, cork, and carpet), use a mat designed to reduce fatigue.
- What’s on your feet? The shoes you wear to work make a huge difference in safety and comfort. Make sure you’re wearing shoes that fit well and offer enough toe room, excellent support, and padding. Rotate between 2 or 3 pairs and replace worn-out shoes as soon as possible. Custom orthotics, designed specifically for you, can make feet even more comfortable and correct any anatomical issues that contribute to pain and discomfort.
- What can you be doing off the job to improve your foot health? Anyone who works on their feet all day needs to pay attention to good foot care. Wash them daily; inspect them often for redness, swelling, and signs of fungus or other infections.
If you have persistent pain anywhere in your feet or ankles, make an appointment with the foot experts at Foot & Ankle Associates of Cleveland, Dr. Craig B. Frey and Dr. Megan L. Oltmann. We have expertise in all manner of trauma and injury to your hard-working feet and invite you to come see us at our office in the great community of Solon, Ohio. Give us a call at (440) 903-1041 or make an appointment online.