Standing for too long can build stamina over time and give your feet and legs a good workout, but other times, it can also make you feel tired and may lead to fatigue. Moreover, it can cause various foot and leg problems, as standing for long periods puts a strain on your bones, muscles, joints, etc.
In addition to that, standing for long may reduce the blood supply to the lower extreme points, leading to soreness in that area.
Furthermore, if you’re standing too long on your feet, it can cause irregularities in the blood circulation and gather a lot of blood in the foot and the ankles. This is the main reason why people who do work by standing too long on their feet have problems like flat feet, edema, and plantar fasciitis.
Methods to Cope With Long Hours of Standing
There are many ways by which you can reduce or avoid feet and leg problems due to standing for too long. Some of them are as follows:
Taking Seats Frequently
Most of the jobs today require you to sit on a seat and work on a computer, but some require you to stand, such as being a cashier, hairdresser, chef, or a factory worker. The first thing you should do if you have a leg or back ache is to tell your boss and ask him if you can sit for some time.
When tired of doing your work standing, try to take a seat and relax when the customers are not around so that your feet can rest for a bit and not swell up. This is especially recommended for the elderly.
Sitting Down While Having Lunch
When you take a lunch break at work, be sure to take a comfortable seat, take off your shoes, and put your feet up on the chair, if available. Also, don’t forget to eat welland hydrate yourself while letting your feet take a break. If your workplace doesn’t have any chairs or there is a shortage of chairs, then you can bring your folding chair or a stool from home.
You can also go to food courts in the mall, outdoor picnic tables, or even the place where there are clean grass and trees underneath where you can lay down or sit and enjoy your meal.
Taking off Shoes When Possible
Taking off your shoes will make you more comfortable by allowing your feet to cool down by evaporation. You should make sure to take all the mandatory breaks and try to sit down when you get the chance by keeping your legs up, which is good for blood circulation.
You can also press and roll a golf ball with your bare feet as it will help you in relieving the pain in the soles of your feet. Moreover, it will assist you in preventing plantar fasciitis, a pain in the connective tissues that cover the bottom of your feet.
Changing Your Standing Position
In the past, many workplaces had wooden floors with cushioning and seemed hard to walk on, but nowadays, most businesses prefer having the floor made of concrete, ceramic tiles, or marbles with no cushioning or shock absorption, or any foot-supporting qualities.
If possible, stand on a wooden floor.If not, then you should change your position, exercise your feet and legs as it will promote blood circulation and may relieve pain.
It is not advised to stand on ceramic tiles for too long as feet can get cold, which could disrupt blood flow; instead, you should find a warmer surface to stand on in your workplace. Find some grass to stand on if you work outside.
Standing on Anti-Fatigue Mats
If you haven’t heard of an anti-fatigue mat, then you should get one. They are explicitly designed to reduce stress and tension of the feet and legs by providing a cushioned surface for you to stand on for long.
Usually, these mats are made of thick rubber, and some are made from leather and foam-like materials and even wood. In most cases, the employer of the company will provide you one if you have a standing job so that you don’t get feet and lower leg problems. However, you should be careful when standing on the mat because there’s always a risk of tripping and falling.
Standing on Carpets
You should take a look around your workplace to see if there are carpets you can stand on and do your job because carpets can provide the cushioning your feet need to survive the long hours of the work shift. If your workplace doesn’t have carpets, then you can ask your boss if you can bring one from home tailored to your needs.
Some carpet companies offer decent-sized carpet samples for free that are big enough for you and other co-workers to stand on. You can use that as it is free, but before taking the carpet, make sure that it is not slippery so that you don’t slip and fall.
Wearing New Shoes
Always try to wear a pair of shoes that either fit your feet or are one size bigger. Also, try to change them as often as you can, making sure the shoes are comfortable for your feet and allow them to breathe without squeezing too much. However, many people use the same shoes over and over again for more than one year because whether they don’t have time to buy new shoes or they are a gift from a loved one.
Avoiding High Heels
Some companies require women to wear high heels as part of the dress code when coming to work, which is painful for them as it causes an imbalance in the foot and lower back problems. Furthermore, this can cause pain in the knees and strain on the feet. It can also lead toinstability while walking.
You might be thinking that the only solution is to wear flat shoes, but that’s not the only solution you’ve got. High heels put so much pressure on the heels, so the best thing to do is wear heels that 1/4 inch or 1/2 inch. This is standard size, and it doesn’t cause pain in your feet.
Avoiding Narrow Shoes
Try to avoid wearing narrow shoes and heels at work as they unnaturally compress the toes together, increasing the risk of bunions. One should choose a pair of shoes that fit perfectly, which would allow your toes space to move inside, while also having good interior support. By not wearing narrow shoes, one can prevent problems like pronation: the inward rolling or crumbling of the ankle, common in people with obesity and flat feet.
If you have a choice between wearing shoes that are your fit and shoes which are bigger, go for the ones that area bit bigger than your regular because your feet will need room to breathe. Otherwise, tight space will cause them to be sweaty and swell up.
Dipping your feet in warm and salty water can reduce the amount of pain and swell in feet. The main component of the salt, known as magnesium, is known to help the muscles relax. Swelling can be minimized by taking a warm and salty bath for 15 minutes until your swelling subsides, and blood starts flowing again. However, make sure to pat dryyour feet after taking a footbath, so you don’t slip.
Wearing Orthotics Shoes
Orthotics are custom made soles for your shoes, designed to provide arch support and shock absorption. This prevents you from getting foot, back, or leg aches. These shoes are very helpful in preventing and treating foot conditions like plantar fasciitis, a painful condition that deals with the bottom of the feet and flat feet. The custom ones can be expensive, but their insoles are beneficial for your feet.
Losing weight can decrease the chances of foot problems because a lot of overweight people have foot problems because of how much they weigh. You should try to exercise, such as running, jogging, and walking as it is not only good for your health but also your feet. This, in turn, reduces the strain it causes on your legs and feet, hence lowering the pressure on your feet.
It can be hard to perform all your duties while standing, especially when it comes to dealing with customers and talk to them. If your job requires you to stand, there are some effective and practical ways you can use to deal with it. We have mentioned some best practices in the article above to follow and let your feet and back relax. And yes, don’t forget to take a break when you can.