By Nicole McCray
Being on your feet all day can wreak havoc on your heels, toes, and legs. If you work in an industry where you work on your feet throughout the day, you may end up coming home with achy, sore feet.
Staying active is essential for a healthy lifestyle, but if you’re feeling the effects of standing for an extended period, you may need to incorporate some changes to find relief. Just because you do a lot of standing, walking, or other physical activity doesn’t mean you can’t find comfort while doing it.
One of the first things you need to look at when being on your feet constantly is, well, your feet! The right shoes can make all the difference in how you feel after a long day of work or a lot of walking.
Shoes should have the proper arch support and feel snug but not too tight over your toes. The appropriate fit may require you to work with someone in a shoe store to get the correct measurements.
Some helpful hints when you’re searching for the right footwear include:
- Look for a wider-than-heel sole. It ensures you don’t tip or put more pressure on one part of your foot more than another.
- Keep an extra pair of shoes with you to change into with a slightly different support or heel height to alter your foot position and use different muscles in your feet throughout the day.
- Beware of high heels. These types of shoes focus the weight in areas that don’t provide enough support and can affect your joints, muscles, and posture.
- Find shoes with good cushioning. The cushion helps support and provide comfort on your feet, keeping you from putting too much pressure on a hard floor all day.
If you haven’t measured your feet recently, checking on them every few years doesn’t hurt. Your feet can change due to other factors in life (pregnancy, weight loss, weight gain, etc.), so try and have your feet measured while standing to determine your correct size.
Find Extra Support
Compression socks or stockings can be helpful to ensure you don’t suffer from muscle fatigue from being on your feet all day. Many nurses wear compression socks since they constantly walk and stand around on the job for long periods.
Compression socks are excellent for boosting your blood circulation, decreasing swelling in the legs and ankles, and preventing blood from pooling in your veins to keep things moving. Your active feet won’t feel so tired and achy.
Using Proper Posture
With an active lifestyle, your posture can make you put unwanted pressure on your feet and cause inflammation or pain. It’s important to take note of how you stand throughout the day and instill some of these tips to get the proper posture:
- Keep your knees soft and not locked. Locking your knees contributes significantly to lower back pain and knee problems, traumatizing the joint.
- Stand with your feet slightly apart and not close together. You need to support your body with a balanced stance, and if you keep your legs too close together to give yourself a firmer, solid foundation.
- Activate your core. When you work your abs and glutes throughout the day for a few minutes at a time, you take stress off of the feet and knees.
- One helpful move to help keep good posture is by raising your hands above your head, then putting them straight out in line with your shoulders, and slowly lowering them to your sides.
Moving and Stretching
Moving throughout the day is helpful so you’re not standing in one spot for too long. Shifting your weight periodically and walking around ensures you’re not exerting too much pressure in one place.
Stretches are also vital to help ease any aching in your muscles and joints. Do it while you’re at home or throughout the day as you’re able. Some of the most helpful stretches include using a wall and putting your foot up against it, leaning forward to stretch your calf. If you’re at work, you can do a simple stretch by rocking up on your toes and back down on your heels to work the muscles.
Empower your body with some quick yoga or pilates to improve your strength and flexibility while also stretching and warming the muscles for the day. Consider making it a part of your daily routine to help keep your feet and legs from fatigue.
Other Helpful Tips
Other methods you might try when easing foot pain from standing include a foot bath or massage to help relieve some of the soreness and aches from being on your feet. If you’re an athlete or do a lot of running and walking, soaks and massages can provide relief.
If you work through these tips to help empower your active lifestyle but still experience pain or fatigue in your legs and feet, don’t ignore it. It may be necessary to ask your doctor to refer you to a specialist in case of a diagnosis that requires physical therapy or surgery.
Make sure you replace worn-out shoes or alternate heel lengths, apply ice for swelling or inflammation, invest in some good compression socks, and do some flexibility exercises and stretches to keep your feet from feeling fatigued daily.
Nicole McCray is a content creator who spends her time writing about everything, including beauty, health and wellness, pet care, music, movies, and TV. She writes for various blogs and loves using her insight to help any audience.