Most people are aware of the health risks of a sedentary lifestyle especially those associated with desk jobs. People attached to jobs and lifestyles that incorporate prolonged periods of standing face several health problems. One of the most immediate outcomes of prolonged standing is foot pain. Foot pain treatment is, therefore, serious concern and should be managed very carefully.
There are a number of jobs like that of the cashier at a supermarket, hairdresser, chef, traffic policeman, farmer and construction worker among many others, who require prolonged periods of standing in order to execute their jobs.
Standing for prolonged periods of time not only results in tiredness and fatigue, it also places strain on the muscles, bones, joints, tendons and ligaments of the feet.
Another health problem associated with prolonged standing is poor circulation in the lower extremities. The pooling of blood in the feet and ankles can result due to such extended periods of standing. A person linked to this difficulty faces these problems – Varicose veins, edema, bunions, flat feet and plantar fasciitis. In this article, we suggest some ways to manage prolonged standing at the workplace and some ways to deal with the associated health problems.
A person should take a break to sit down and rest the feet even if the daily job requires prolonged periods of standing, whenever permissible, . Utilize lunch breaks to sit down. Lift the feet up if possible at an incline that discourages the pooling of blood to the ankles and feet.
Whenever possible, stand on an anti-fatigue mat made of thick rubber or carpet to provide cushioning to the feet. Wearing comfortable shoes that provide support and cushioning to the feet is essential. Wear socks with shoes and ensure that the shoes fit well and are supportive. Avoid shoes with high heels or narrow toes as they will put additional stress on the foot. The body tends to tilt forward with high heels resulting in foot strain and back strain, Achilles tendinitis, the strain on the knee and more. Shoes that provide arch support and have good soles are helpful. Tight shoes in general impede blood circulation to the feet. Compression socks and stockings also help relieve the swelling and aid circulation.
Foot pain and swelling can be managed in a variety of ways. Soaking the feet in a foot bath with Epsom salts can relieve the ache and swelling. Alternate hot and cold water bath therapy can also relieve foot pain.
A foot massage or using rollers underneath the feet can also manage foot pain. One can use custom-designed shoe orthotics to provide better arch and foot support.
As a general rule, weight reduction will reduce pressure on the feet and ankles and this can be achieved through a combination of caloric restriction and suitable exercise, always consult a specialist.
These are some of the health problems associated with standing for prolonged periods of time and we hope to have suggested a few ways that the foot pain can be effectively managed.