There are many professions across multiple industries that require you to stay standing or walking around for hours at a time. While keeping your body moving is a great way to burn calories at work, it can occasionally lead to back and leg pain if you don’t take the proper precautions. If you get paid to stand, here are some great ways to prevent those aches and pains:
Take Frequent Breaks
We don’t mean disappear from your post or sneak out of the office; but try to put the pressure off your feet and legs at least once every hour. Taking the weight off your feet improves circulation and gives all the muscles that are working to keep you upright a much-needed rest. Sitting down for even five minutes every hour gives your joints a mild stretch and can also prevent leg cramping.
Move Your Body
One of the reasons standing for long periods of time leads to aches and pains is that our bodies aren’t designed to be static. The more dynamic your body is, the less likely your back is to hurt. There are also exercises you can do at work and in your spare time that will help improve your flexibility, strength, and circulation. At-work exercises include hip rotations, calf stretches, slow butt kicks, and hamstring stretches. Improving your overall strength and flexibility will also significantly help your muscles support your body for longer periods of time. Staying fit through yoga, strength-training, and other aerobics exercises will also help.
Wear Comfortable Clothes
Circulation is crucial. Improper circulation causes inflammation, which can lead to aches and cramps. Wearing comfortable clothes goes beyond compression socks. If you wear stiff pants that constrict blood flow in your legs, you’ll cramp much faster. You’ll notice that the longer you tight fitting jeans, the more uncomfortable you’ll be. With the constriction of tight pants, inflammation and swelling can set in. Wearing loose-flowing clothes allows you to stretch and incorporate dynamic movements into your workday without having a restricted range of motion.
Wear Proper Footwear
The importance of proper footwear cannot be stressed enough. Your feet bear the weight of your entire body, which means that they need as cushioning and support. There are many foot conditions caused by wearing improper footwear, like Achilles tendonitis, plantar fasciitis, shin splints, and bunions. You want to wear shoes that are the right size and provide proper arch support. The soles should be soft and cushiony to absorb the hardness of the floor. “Barefoot” style footwear can be beneficial when staying active as it gives your feet a better workout, however when staying on your feet for long hours, the pressure of a firm surface on your feet will likely lead to pain. Wearing heels during an eight-hour shift can lead to serious back, leg, and hip problems. If you find that you’re uncomfortable regardless of the shoes you wear, it might be time to consider custom orthotics that are designed to fit your feet and provide the ultimate comfort and support.
An important part of minimizing back problems is treating your pain as it comes before it gets worse. At Pacific Health & Sports Therapy, we provide a range of services like massage therapy and chiropractic care to help our patients live a life without back pain. Book an appointment Online, or contact us today for more information.