In many industries that some of our customers work in, you’re required to be on your feet for eight hours a day. People who work in restaurants, grocery stores, hospitals, and more are expected to stand nearly all day, and we understand that providing great customer service sometimes gets a bit difficult when your feet and legs are screaming at you. So if standing on your feet all day is causing you to think, “if one more customer asks me to walk them back to the milk section, they’re getting that milk dumped all over them,” read on for some tips on how to keep the pain in your feet low after a long shift.
Change how you stand
Yes, you’ve been standing since you learned how to walk, so we trust that you know how to do it fairly well by now. However, you may still be standing incorrectly while working. First, don’t lock your knees and stand in the same position for long periods of time. This puts stress on your joints and will cause pain and potential health problems later in life. Also, it might cause you to get light headed and pass out. And while that does get you out of work, good luck facing your coworkers the next day with that big dent in your forehead from slamming into the cash register.
Casually bounce on your knees often and do some simple leg stretches during your shift. Also, make sure that your weight is not always shifted more on one leg than the other. Balance your weight equally between both of your feet.
Take some “posture breaks”
When you do get quick breaks from work and you’re scarfing down as much food as you can before it ends, remember to use these times as a chance to change your poster a bit and do some easy foot exercises. A good one to try is rolling, and this is when you remove your shoes (away from your coworkers, please and thanks), and roll a tennis or lacrosse ball around under each foot for one to five minutes. This “massage” gives your feet some relief before standing again.
Lunges are also a great way to stretch out your thigh and hamstring muscles when you get a free minute or two. They get you out of your standing posture and give your leg muscles a chance to “breathe” by stretching them out. Also, ankle rolls are a great way to relieve some stress on your feet. Roll your foot clockwise and counterclockwise from the ankle down 10 to 15 times. These are best to do when you’re sitting down so that you don’t have to stand on one leg while doing them.
Did we say strrrreeeetch?
Do some foot stretches! The plantar muscle runs from the back of your feet to the toes, and it gets tight and painful after being used all day. You can stretch it out in a few different ways. You could simply cross one leg over the other while sitting and grab the big toe and pull on it to create a nice stretch. Or you could stretch your leg out and wrap a towel around the bottom of your foot and pull on it that way.
These stretches, combined with the rolling and lunges that we mentioned earlier, are a great way to relieve your feet and calves from the pain of standing all day.
Make sure you have on the proper footwear
If you’re trying to stand on your feet for eight hours a day in shoes with little to no padding or cushioning, best of luck to you. Just don’t say we didn’t warn you when you’re laying in bed that night wondering if you’ll ever be able to walk again. Having shoes with extra padding and cushioning that actually support your feet make a world of difference during those long shifts on your feet. Also, getting your feet and shoes properly sized is necessary if you don’t want them to pinch or rub the wrong way all day.
Buying a cushioned mat to stand on helps to alleviate the pressure on your feet as well. Most retail stores already provide one if you’re standing at a cash register, but if they don’t, it’s a great investment for your feet!
Want to learn more about SR Max® and the services that we offer? Check us out at srmax.com to learn more!