If you work standing up all day, you know how challenging this can be for your feet, as well as your legs and back. No matter what you do, no matter what industry you are in, prolonged standing can compromise your health.
The most common problems associated with prolonged standing are various forms of lower-body discomforts. Too much time on your feet will risk uncomfortable, even painful issues affecting feet, calves, knees, thighs, and hips. There is good evidence to show that musculoskeletal disorders are the most common result of difficult work conditions.
The impact of all-day standing can show up relatively quickly and/or can aggravate latent issues. For patients with pre-existing conditions, like heart disease and circulation problems, prolonged standing can worsen them. Especially older workers and anyone with a heavy manual job, they often develop knee and joint pain as they age, and are more likely to be less able to manage constant standing.
Feet Issues from Prolonged Standing
The effects of standing all day can result in a host of issues, such as:
- Muscle soreness and fatigue
- Swollen or painful feet or legs
- Joint damage
- Poor circulation and swelling in feet & legs
- Pregnancy complications
- Poor posture (and its effects)
- Stretched Achilles tendon (tendonitis)
- Plantar fasciitis
The Cause of Foot and Lower Body Issues
While the major causes of trouble are usually obvious, that does not mean they are easy to alter. A job with repetitive tasks and/or workplace layout can force workers into awkward or non-moving positions, which can place undue strain on the body. Standing is worse when your movement is limited, you stand on hard surfaces, and/or wear unsuitable footwear.
The job of your muscles is to hold your body upright. Joints from feet to neck can get stuck temporarily without rest and movement. Should this occur regularly, more serious damage can result to tendons and ligaments as your muscles tire.
Blood flow to muscles across the body will also slow without movement. Regular muscle movements help move blood and other fluids around the body. When blood or other fluids fail to move, veins can get inflamed and feet, ankles, and legs can swell, leading to muscle discomfort.
How to Prevent Standing-Related Injuries
It is not difficult to avoid standing-related injuries if you are able to take some simple preventative steps.
- Alternate standing with sitting for short periods of time
- Change standing positions, as well as walk and stretch
- Wear supportive and comfortable shoes
- Add cushion to hard floors with a mat or rug
Another good preventive step is to visit your Lansdale podiatrist regularly, who can help you address any standing-related problems by designing a personalized strategy to keep your feet and lower body healthy.
Bioped Footcare Center