Do you stand all day at work? Chances are you are all too familiar with swollen feet, achy arches and sore heels.
Whether you’re working as a tradie, in healthcare, retail or hospitality, there are ways to look after your feet to prevent pain and discomfort, and to prevent any future structural or permanent problems.
If you’re about to start a new job that requires you to stand for long periods of time, having supportive footwear is very important. Make an appointment with one of our experienced podiatrists for advice on footwear and exercises to help prevent foot discomfort while you’re on your feet.
Here are 5 ways to look after your feet on the job!
1. Wear the right shoes
There are many options today for shoes that not only look fashionable but are also made for comfort and support. Talk to us at the clinic for recommendations of footwear brands ideal for people on their feet all day.
When choosing shoes for work that requires you to be on your feet all day, here are some guidelines to follow:
- Make sure the shoe sole is flexible so that it bends with your foot’s natural movement.
- Look for enclosed footwear with comfortable and secure buckles/fasteners.
- Leave plenty of width for your foot.
- Lace-ups are better than zip fasteners as you can adjust the width.
- Make sure it has a strong and supportive heel.
- Cushioning on the inside for comfort.
- A non-slip sole for grip.
- A shoe with a removable liner so that you can replace it with an orthotic if necessary.
2. Take breaks and rest your feet
If you’re working in hospitality, retail, or in a hospital, there are probably not many opportunities to take a break and rest your feet. You may be doing 4-5 hour shifts without sitting down.
However, sitting down and resting your feet every three hours is important to prevent pain and discomfort. If your feet are really sore, take your shoes off and give them a gentle massage. This will help increase blood flow and ease tight muscles.
Most importantly, if you are wearing supportive shoes, this will prevent any unnecessary pain, but rest is important nonetheless.
3. Exercise for strength and flexibility in your feet
Maintaining exercise is not only good for your heart and mind, but your feet will remain strong and flexible. They carry your entire weight every day. Walking, Pilates and yoga are all effective and gentle exercises for your feet. Building strength and endurance in your legs will support you in a job that keeps you on your feet for long periods of time.
At the clinic, we will teach you exercises for the ankles, calves and legs to strengthen the lower limbs. When you start a new job that needs you on your feet longer than you’re used to, it will take a couple of weeks for your feet to adjust. But doing these exercises in advance will help you adjust faster.
4. Give your feet some TLC at home
Massaging your feet at night with an oil that you like to use is therapeutic for your feet and body. There are several specialty foot oils available at the chemist. Easing tension in the feet will also help you sleep better at night.
Your feet take an average of 6000 steps per day, bearing all the weight of your body. As one of the most complex parts of the human anatomy, the 26 bones, 30 joints and more than 100 muscles, tendons and ligaments work hard for you as you walk, run or stand for long periods of time. A little extra TLC (tender loving care) goes a long way to preventing problems and keeping your feet in good walking shape.
From using a pumice stone in the shower to remove dry skin, to moisturising daily, you’ll prevent corns, callouses, blisters and fungus from occurring. Read more here.
Related article: Are you an Adelaide Tradie on your feet all day?
5. Get regular podiatry care
Prevention is better than cure and this is true for most things including your feet. At the clinic we’ll assess your feet, their alignment and structure. Using our gait analysis technology, we use a scientifically developed method to analyse your walking or running style by observing the way you move and the impact of this movement on your feet, hips, lower back and limbs.
A gait analysis provides a significant amount of feedback about pressure or pain sources that arise from your style of walking. With this accurate data, we’ll provide expert assistance and advice on how to avoid pain and discomfort in your feet, and what you can do to keep your feet flexible and strong.
Related article: Why regular podiatry is essential to long term foot health.
If you have pain in your feet, pop into one of our podiatrist clinics in Linden Park, Stirling or Mount Barker. The team of experienced podiatrists in our family owned practice helps many people in the workforce with common foot complaints.