Not all of us have desk jobs. Many of us earn our living on our feet: surgeons, tour guides, teachers, wait staff, cashiers, etc. And while there are many health problems related to sitting all day behind a desk, don’t think that standing is a better alternative. As with a desk job, you should always make sure to protect your body from developing long-term health issues. If you stand for the majority of your day, here are five healthy tips for working on your feet:
#1: Take Sitting Breaks
If you’re standing for hours on end, you need to give your body a break. Sit whenever you can and try to put your legs up to promote circulation and avoid swelling. Standing too long without rest can lead to many health issues, from knee pain to joint damage. Sit down during your lunch break and relax. Roll your shoulders and stretch your calves, hamstrings, and hips. If you don’t have an opportunity to sit, at least walk. Walking promotes increased blood circulation; it changes the length of your muscles, preventing stiffness, and moving your joints results in increased lubrication to the joints—increased lubrication means healthier joints.
#2: Wear Compression Socks
Compression socks and stockings are highly recommended for people who spend a lot of time on their feet. Standing for prolonged periods of time puts more pressure on your circulatory system, which can lead to varicose veins, spider veins, deep vein thrombosis, and other issues. Compression socks combat poor circulation from prolonged standing by forcing the blood to circulate to and from your extremities. They also feel amazing and reduce the heaviness that people often experience from extended periods in a static position.
#3: Wear Comfortable Shoes
It’s no secret that the more comfortable the shoe, the longer you can wear them. You may think that heels are comfortable, but try standing in them for hours. Even the smallest heel can make a difference. When it comes to comfort, shoes should meet the basic AO3 criteria at the very minimum. Choose a shoe with a well-constructed sole, shock absorbency, and room for your toes. Wearing the wrong kind of footwear can throw off your body’s unique biomechanics. Even better, have an assessment from a Canadian Certified Pedorthist to find out what type of footwear is best for your body and your unique body alignment. Check out Align Custom Fit Footwear’s collection of trendy orthotic shoes here.
#4: Move Around
Don’t stay in one spot for too long. Get your circulation flowing and your weight shifting to different parts of your body to ease the pressure on your back, legs, and feet. Try some lunges, leg lifts, and stretches that will feel great and prevent cramping and soreness. Standing in one position for too long puts too much strain on your body. If your job requires you to stand in one spot all day, ask your employer for an anti-fatigue mat or something squishy to stand on that has better shock absorbency.
#5: Pamper Your Feet
At the end of a long day, your feet will undoubtedly be tired, and maybe a bit achy. Treat yourself to a foot massage or soak your feet in warm water and Epsom salts—it’ll relax your muscles and ease any tension. Wait at least 15 minutes before removing your feet. Feel free to apply a pumice stone or massage roller to the bottom of your feet for added relaxation and apply oils or moisturizer for an added touch.
Another option is to try a contrast bath for your feet and legs. Submerge your legs in hot water for one minute followed by another minute in cold water; repeat five times. Then, finish in 10 minutes of cold water. The hot and cold contrast causes the veins and arteries of your circulator system to contract and dilate, creating a pumping action, which significantly improves blood flow circulation. Professional athletes have been doing it for years with tremendous success in reducing soreness. Read More About Ache & Pain Getaligned Solution
If you live or work in the Greater Toronto Area and want to experience ultimate comfort, book an appointment with Align Custom Fit Footwear to be fitted with a pair stylish and extremely comfortable pair of custom fit orthotic shoes. Your feet, legs, and body will thank you!