DO YOU WORK ON YOUR FEET ALL DAY?
Standing all day, whether work or at play, could cause lower-limb and foot-related discomfort, as well as lower back issues, learn more about footwear safety here
Globally each year, thousands of work-related foot injuries are reported, and an increasing number of sick days are taken because of leg and foot problems. Whether you’re cooking at a restaurant line, cutting hair in a salon, teaching in a classroom, or folding T-shirts at a clothing store, making an extra effort to take good care of your feet and legs can go a long way toward staying healthy and comfortable
PROBLEMS THAT MAY RESULT FROM LONGER STANDING PERIODS
Discomfort, weariness, and swelling in the legs are the most typical side effects of standing for long periods of time. Workers who spend too much time on their feet are at a higher risk of developing pain and discomfort in their feet, shins and calves, knees, thighs, hips, and lower back. Musculoskeletal problems are the most prevalent cause of work-related illness, according to research, with 17 percent of these disorders affecting the lower limbs.
Prolonged standing is linked to many other significant and fatal health issues. Prolonged standing has been linked to the worsening of existing coronary heart disease, varicose veins, and chronic venous insufficiency, as well as pain in the lower limbs and feet.
Research shows that back discomfort connected with employment is nearly twice as likely in those who work standing compared to those who work seated
Older workers and those who engage in heavy manual jobs are more likely to suffer knee and joint pain as they age, and they may become less able to stand for long periods of time. Other workers, such as those with arthritis, pregnancy-related varicose veins, or those who have had a back or lower limb injury, are also at risk.
Standing for long periods of time can have immediate impacts, and prolonged standing or walking can hasten health problems and soft tissue injuries. For example, being on your feet all day can cause:
• Varicose veins
• Plantar fasciitis
• Low back pain
• Muscle soreness and fatigue
• High blood pressure
• Knee or hip arthritis
• Pregnancy complications
• Neck and shoulder stiffness
• Chronic heart and circulatory disorders
• Poor posture (and its effects)
• Various foot problems and pain
• Knee problems
• Swollen or painful feet or legs
• Stretched Achilles tendon (tendonitis)
• Joint damage
• Poor circulation and swelling in feet & legs
WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF THESE ISSUES?
Standing, like many other work-related dangers, is generally built into a job. Workers may be forced into awkward positions by a task's physical layout or work practices, such as reaching across large surfaces or performing repetitive tasks without breaks. Standing is more difficult when you can't move around much, work on hard surfaces, or wear incorrect footwear.
The muscles in your body work to keep you upright. Joints from the neck to the feet can become temporarily "stuck" if they are not rested or moved around. Muscles become weary as a result of this, and their tendons and ligaments can be injured, leading to soft tissue injuries.
Standing still lowers blood flow to muscles and hinders the "muscle pump," which transfers blood from the feet and legs to the heart through constant muscle movements. Leg muscles must contract in order for other body fluids to move. Veins become inflamed and feet, ankles, and legs become swollen when blood or other fluids do not flow correctly, triggering muscle pain.
WHAT CAN YOU DO TO PREVENT INJURIES FROM STANDING?
You can lower the hazards of prolonged standing, especially if you have chronically weary feet and stiff leg muscles. Here are some basic steps you can (always take advice from your doctor before you start any form of exercise) take to get through your day while avoiding...or at the very least minimising health risks:
• Alternate standing and sitting: If you're standing for long amounts of time, schedule some time to sit. Sit during break periods or quiet moments.
• If you're pregnant, try to put your feet up at regular intervals and preferably rest your feet higher than your head, to help prevent swollen ankles.
• Switch postures frequently: Move your weight around by walking, stretching, and standing in various positions
• Wear supportive and comfy shoes: There are many fashionable shoes on the market nowadays that not only look amazing but also provide plenty of support and comfort.
• Custom orthotics keep the skeleton, muscles, and fascia in the proper alignment, which helps to alleviate many symptoms of foot and leg soreness.
If you spend a lot of time on your feet, orthotics can help you improve your posture, decrease joint stress, support ligaments, treat overpronation, enhance walking comfort, and lessen other foot disorders like heel (plantar fasciitis) and forefoot (metatarsalgia) discomfort.
By seeing a foot expert with a method developed with your best fit in mind, you can ensure that the orthotics are produced correctly.
Lower the heel and save your toes: Save the super-high heels and sharp toes for parties and special occasions. These aren't the best shoes for someone who spends all day on their feet.
Lack of toe space limits circulation and fosters a variety of issues such as foot cramping; heels drive the toes deeper towards the end of the shoe, and if that end is pointed, there is very little room for the toes to maneuver.
Protect hard floors: If you're limited to an area with a hard floor, ask for a rubber mat or a rug to be placed on the floor. This will soften the area on which you're standing, decreasing the effect of the hard surface on your legs and feet.
Compression hose and socks: Compression socks are well-known among individuals with leg or foot problems, but they also have features that many people can benefit from, including active people and those who are on their feet all day.
Modern designs have developed over the years as a result of the increased awareness of compression socks and their health benefits.
Alternating knee flexion: Bend your knee and try to connect your heel to your buttocks with one leg, then the other, without going beyond your natural range of motion. This will aid in the loosening of the quadriceps (the four major muscles in front of the thighs).
Figure-8 hip rotations: Shifting your balance from one side to the other will avoid both hip tightness and blood stagnation in the lower extremities by circling your hips in a figure-8 motion.
Hacky-sack kicks: Kicking an imagined ball with your instep loosens the origin connecting points of the gluteus maximus (buttocks), the body's largest muscle. Whether you're in a sedentary seated or standing position, the "glutes" might get tight, especially where they link to the sacroiliac joint.
Tight glutes can be avoided with just a few kicks on each side.
Stretch your hamstrings while standing:
1. Stand with your back straight and your spine in a neutral position.
2. Then, in front of you, place your right leg.
3. Lean forward gently, your hands resting on your bowed right leg.
4. To avoid hunching over your leg, keep your back straight.
5. Hold this stretch for 10 seconds at a time, gradually increasing to 30 seconds.
Stretching the calf wall (knees bent):
1. Face a wall and place your hands on the wall at eye level.
2. Place the problem leg approximately a step behind the other.
3. Bend both knees while keeping both heels on the floor.
4. For at least 15 to 30 seconds, hold the stretch.
5. Rep 2–4 times more.
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Detailed view of the trainers in top of the page image can be seen here: Portwest Steelite Mersey Trainer S1 FT50, Portwest Steelite Tove Trainer S1P FT15, Portwest Steelite Aire Trainer S1P FT25
Pressure Pump Solutions Ltd of Penistone, Barnsley, South Yorkshire is a company registered in England and Wales with company number 13358489 Our VAT number is 379 6257 42 we specialise in quality Portwest Workwear and Hyundai Power Tools and Equipment.