Every job is different, and every field offers its own conditions and has specific requirements. Domains such as retail, cooking, teaching, beauty, and constructions generally require medium to high levels of standing up during shifts. Although people going into these professions do it knowingly, health issues can still occur from time to time.
What to Do
People working long shifts standing up encounter all sorts of foot problems over the years. These include blisters, calluses, bunions and even rheumatisms and arthritis in more severe cases. Furthermore, if your profession involves a hot and potentially humid environment, fungal infections are also a big danger.
For this reason, you need to protect your health and comfort daily. Taking care of every part of your body should be your priority always, and that includes your legs. Here are three preventive care tips for people who stay on their feet all day.
1. Wear Appropriate Footwear
According to Healthline, wearing the right shoes makes all the difference in the world when you work on your feet all day. Although you’d be inclined to go for flat shoes, it’s actually important that they are elevated by at least a quarter of an inch. However, the heel should never exceed two inches in size.
Ladies, this means that you need to let your high heels go. Even though such footwear is certainly recommended for dressier occasions, it’s time to put your health first when it comes to the way you dress for the job. Go for the less trendy option and get yourself something that has good arch support.
If you still want to hang on to some of your older pairs, you can always add special insoles to them. These are found at almost any drugstore or athletic store, so make sure to check out a few in your area. But keep in mind that uncomfortable shoes won’t become magically appropriate with just this, so don’t rely on it.
Another key element in choosing the best boots or sneakers that will carry you through those long shifts at work is getting them in the right size. To do this, ask the salesperson in the store for assistance. Never buy anything that’s too small no matter how advantageous the sale they’re on is because that’s when problems appear.
2. Stretch and Sit Down
It might seem highly unlikely, but there are plenty of stretches you can do right at your desk in order to relieve some of the pent-up tension in your muscles. These include calf raises, reaches and single-leg balance exercises. Try to squeeze in a few of these every hour or so in order to achieve the best results.
But even with the right shoes on and a daily dose of exercise, you will sometimes feel like your feet need a break. When this happens, try to sit down as much as possible. One good opportunity for this is during lunch. If you have an hour-long break for this, it’s even better. Find a comfortable to sit down and relax while eating. This not only gives this particular area of the body time to unwind, but it also helps with digestion.
3. Pamper Your Feet at Home
It’s important to practice self-care at home as well. One useful thing that you can do is to take the expression ‘put your feet up’ literally and raise them on the wall or on a stack of pillows. This will encourage the swelling to diminish and restore normal blood flow to the area.
Ice water baths are also a traditional remedy that will provide you with a bit of relief. However, if you have vascular problems you need to avoid this practice. Try dipping your toes in warm, soothing water instead. And for those who have the budget for it, an Epsom salt bath works wonders on tired legs.
Another pleasant way to take the edge off is a massage. If you want to do it yourself, you can roll a tennis ball along your soles, but you can also ask someone to lend you a hand you with it. Calf massages are also recommended for people with foot problems.
If you have the time and money for it, going to see a massage therapist is a valuable source of assistance. But if not, doing it yourself or with help from a friend, family member or significant other also has visible results.
Just like any other part of your body, legs and feet need protecting as well. This is especially required of people who work long shifts that require a lot of standing up, such as those in the restaurant business, hair stylists, retail salespeople and even teachers in schools and universities.
Construction laborers are even more prone to afflictions over the course of their careers due to the intensely physical nature of their labor. All these different professionals need to take extra care of this area by wearing appropriate footwear that provides proper arch support and is the right size.
On top of that, legs need to be stretched and relaxed ideally every hour or so. There are plenty of exercises for this, so all you need to do is make the time. Sitting down every now and then is also a good idea, and the best time to apply it is during your lunch break. And finally, you need to take care of yourself when you get home as well.