Our sitting culture is to blame for a host of modern musculoskeletal conditions, but the standing culture isn’t proving a viable solution either. Traditionally, professionals such as hairdressers, medical care providers, restaurant staff, and retail workers were in the few job categories that required standing all day.
Today, in an effort to kick out the sitting culture, many more firms are adopting the standing workstation. This has only led to an alarming increase in foot related problems. However, you can still work all day and have your feet healthy. Here is how.
Top 3 Tips for Healthy Feet for People Who Stand All Day
1. Excellent footwear
There are no same feet; even those of the same body. Over time, the size and shape of the feet change. This makes it essential to have your feet measured before purchasing a pair of shoes. One of the main reasons why many suffer from foot pain and other related conditions is poor footwear. It is important to have your feet adequately cushioned in well-fitting shoes to avoid straining the muscles, ligaments and tendons.
A). Proper size
There is no debate on the importance of wearing the right shoe size; one that is not too restrictive or too loose. However, most people do not know that flat shoes are not the best for prolonged standing. For healthy feet, experts advise that a slight elevation (about a quarter inch) works better with prolonged standing.
B). Proper arch support
When picking out a shoe for standing, choose one that gives you adequate support. You can also consider using orthotic inserts which are readily available in drug stores. Alternatively, you can go for a custom pair crafted by a podiatrist. The inserts provide extra cushioning and support as well as ward off injuries.
C). Compression stockings and socks
You have probably seen countless athletes spotting compression stockings or sleeves. They provide graduated compression on the foot (loose around the ankles and tighter as you go up) to help reduce the effects of gravity and assist in venous return (blood flow back to the heart). This helps to reduce fatigue in the muscles, thereby reducing chances of injuries.
2. Foot care routine
The feet are as sensitive as any other part of the body. Therefore, it is essential to perform a few routine care activities that keep your feet healthy and free of diseases or injuries. For starters, it is important to clean the feet (and take care of the nails too) as well as keep them dry to avoid fungal infections.
A). Cleaning routine
Apart from the daily, normal cleaning routine, it is important to exfoliate every once in a while. The recommended routine should include a foot bath for about 10 minutes to soften the skin followed by a gentle scrub with a pumice stone. This helps to get rid of excess dead cells on the feet and keep them smooth. Foot scrubs also help a great deal. If you are not particularly fond of commercially prepared scrubs, you can use a homemade alternative (sugar or crushed fruit pits make an excellent base).
Always keep the feet dry, especially between the toes. Occasionally, you can use foot creams and powders to keep fungus and bacteria off your feet, especially if you spend your days in close, warm shoes. It is also important to keep your toes clean, dry and well maintained; ingrown toes can be quite painful.
B). Standing posture
You may have the most comfortable shoes and follow the best foot care regimens but if you have poor posture, you will struggle with musculoskeletal issues. It is extremely vital to know how to stand properly so that your feet structure is correctly aligned.
The right standing posture must balance the body. The spine must be aligned over the pelvis and the weight evenly distributed between the two feet. If you find yourself exerting more pressure on one foot compared to the other, you are doing it wrong and it will eventually cause you problems.
When standing the right way, you will feel even pressure on the heels, ball of the big toes. You can practice the tripod posture to test whether the pressure on the feet is even.
Poor posture is an extremely destructive habit, but it is not impossible to correct. It is especially important to get it right if you are constantly on your feet.
C). Feet exercises
Exercising the feet is equivalent to taking a car for maintenance; it is vital for optimal performance. Exercises build the muscles strength, flexibility and mobility, which keep the feet free of injury and fatigue. The exercises keep the body tolerant and resistant to ligament and joint injuries. It is important to exercise the ankles and knee joints in addition to the toe joints. This keeps them flexible and mobile.
You can build your own strength, flexibility, and resistance exercise routines to include stretches, lifts and roll and squeeze massage.
D). Home remedies for healthy feet
With all the fatigue associated with standing all day long, it is important to pamper your feet periodically to keep them smooth, strong and flexible. You can make your own simple foot care routines which work best with natural products.
Every day before going to bed, use a moisturiser to keenly massage the foot in circular motions for about 10 minutes. You can use natural products such as olive oil, coconut oil or cocoa butter. Be careful to keep the space between the toes dry.
Set aside some time every week for a foot massage, yoga or foot scrub as they all help in improving blood circulation and relaxing the muscles after a tiring work session. The massage eases discomfort and pain as well as reduces inflammation.
Trim the toenails push back the cuticles and treat ingrown toes. You can work with a professional on this to avoid pushing the cuticles too much. It is also important to use the right treatments for painful and unsightly ingrown toes.
When these home foot care routines are carried out consistently, you will notice the difference; the feet will not be as prone to fatigue and injury.
3. Proper medical care when needed
Prolonged standing can result in a myriad of issues, top among them being muscular injuries, swelling and inflammation. While home-care routines such as exercises and massage can help alleviate the pain, sometimes it is important to seek medical relief.
If you suffer from over pronation or over supination, you might require a lot more than just a comfortable shoe. Professional foot care examines your foot so as to recommend the most effective remedy. For example, if you have overpronated feet, you might need to use custom orthotics to correct this condition.
Pain and inflammation are always a sign of stressed ligaments and muscles. Custom orthotics and arch support devices help balance the pressure on the feet, relieves the affected muscles thereby eliminating pain and inflammation.
If you are suffering from a severe case of inflammation or swelling, you can get professional treatment from licensed podiatrists.
Keeping your feet healthy is not an option, especially if you are constantly on your feet; it is a vital component of survival. Therefore, be sure to take proper care of your feet. It doesn’t have to be expensive; simple home care routines can do the trick just fine.
Do you have any other remedy that works for you? You can share it in the comments section; we’d love to know about it! If these tips are helpful to you, share with your friends to enlighten them on what they can do to keep their feet healthy.