Even though we live in an advanced technological age, many occupations today still require a great deal of standing. Retail clerks, assembly line workers, hairdressers, and many other professions require long hours where people must be on their feet. As a result, the feet of these employees can become sore, achy, and inflamed.
If you are someone who has to stand for lengthy periods of time as part of your job, here are ten ways to avoid succumbing to the symptoms of sore feet.
- Exercise before work. Many podiatry experts see value in performing certain foot exercises before beginning a workday. Examples include stretching your calf muscles, rolling a soda can under your foot, and picking up a towel with only your toes.
- Tape your feet. If you are prone to foot soreness or arch problems, it may behoove you to tape up your feet before work. Using stretchy bandages, first aid tape, or sports injury tape to wrap your foot can provide extra support during your shift.
- Get special shoes or socks. Cross-country shoes, cross-trainers, or work boots can help cushion your feet throughout the day. Also, thick wool or cotton socks can help reduce the prevalence of toe blisters.
- Use more than one pair of shoes or socks. Some people bring an extra pair of shoes or socks to work with them and then switch them out once during the day. This can refresh your feet to some degree – but only if both pairs are comfortable.
- Look into orthotics. This is just a fancy word for arch supports, cushioned insoles, heel pads, and similar products which are specifically designed to combat foot pain. You can purchase orthotics over the counter or have them specially made for you.
- Walk around. Whenever you have chance during your job duties, take the opportunity to walk from one place to another. This will increase the blood flow to your feet, which helps to prevent soreness.
- Perform certain motions while standing in place. These may include wiggling your toes, shifting weight from one foot to the other, and even standing on one foot. Like walking, these will improve circulation to your feet.
- Take care of your feet during breaks. Whenever you do get a break at work, be sure to elevate your feet on a chair or table to help with circulation. If ice is available, consider placing an ice pack on your feet for a short time to fight inflammation.
- Take care of your feet after work. A warm foot soak (especially with chamomile or lavender treatments) can feel relaxing and loosen your foot muscles. You can even ask a professional or family member to give you a foot massage to accomplish the same goal.
- Use an anti-fatigue mat. Ask your employer to invest in an anti-fatigue mat which can help prevent foot soreness from setting in. Or buy one for yourself and take it to work with you each day.
Sore feet can lead to additional health problems like swollen ankles, stiff shoulders and necks, and pain in the legs and back. On the other hand, eliminating foot soreness can help you feel fresher, improve your attitude, and boost your productivity and efficiency at work. So take some proactive measures to prevent sore feet from becoming a problem for you.