Article by Emily Bennett
As we all know, working on your feet all day can do a number on your feet and legs. Whether you’re wearing restaurant shoes, medical shoes, or slip-resistant boots, making an extra effort to take care of your feet and legs can go a long way towards you staying healthy and comfortable.
The most commonly reported issues of prolonged standing are discomfort, fatigue, and swelling of the legs and feet. Much of this pain and discomfort can be prevented by wearing comfortable work shoes for the job and following a daily foot care routine. By following these tips, you might have a more pain-free lifestyle both at work and outside of work.
Choosing the Perfect Shoe
The recommended heel height for any shoe when standing for a long period of time is between a quarter of an inch to two inches. When picking out the perfect work safety shoe, be mindful as to what type of arch support that the shoe provides. Proper arch support will help reduce the amount of soreness and weakness in your legs and feet.
Confirm the Fit
More often than not, people will wear shoes that are too small for them. Having shoes that fit properly will prevent you from developing blisters, losing circulation in your feet, and will enable better comfort while on the job. In order to avoid painful issues, it is recommended that you try on shoes at the end of the day when your feet are at their most swollen. By doing this, you are saving yourself the headache of having to re-evaluate your shoe size down the road.
The muscles in your legs can become stiff and uncomfortable as you stand or walk throughout the day. Stop every hour or so to stretch, loosen up and lengthen your tightened muscles. The following stretches are excellent ways to loosen up your leg muscles throughout the day.
- Stand tall on the edge of a step or platform, with your abdominal muscles pulled in.
- Secure the balls of your feet firmly on the step with your heels hanging over the edge.
- Raise your heels a few inches above the step as you stand on your tiptoes, and hold for a second.
- Lower your heels back to even with the platform.
- Repeat ten times.
- Face a wall and place your hands against it.
- Extend one leg behind your body.
- Push your heel to the floor as far as it will go.
- Hold for a moment to feel the stretch and then switch sides.
- Repeat three times on each leg.
Foot Care at Home
When you’re in the comfort of home, you can help your feet recover from the day and prepare for tomorrow by trying one of these treatments.
- Ice Your Feet: After a long day of standing and using your feet, an ice bath for fifteen to twenty minutes three times per day is one of the most effective ways to reduce swelling, promote muscle health, and protect against injury.
- Massage Your Feet: Use a ball of any type and roll it from heel to toe until the pain has subsided. The gentle massage on your feet and arches is sure to stretch tight muscles and help your feet recover at a quicker rate.
- Elevate Your Feet: By propping your feet above the rest of your body when sitting down, it will help decrease the day’s swelling. You can place them against a wall or on a stack of pillows to do this.