There are so many jobs and careers which require employees to stand for 8+ hours in a row. Even those with jobs requiring standing in shorter shifts know how difficult it can be on the body to stand for so long.
Servers, bartenders, and kitchen staff are constantly on their feet moving around. Retail associates almost never have a chance to sit down. Factory workers and other people who work in manufacturing jobs can stand in the same spot for hours on end with only minutes to take a break.
These kinds of physical, manual labor can wreak havoc on people’s backs, knees, hips, ankles, and feet. Here are some ways people who work on their feet all day can combat the physical aches, pains, and injuries associated with high amounts of standing.
Tip to Reduce Pain #1: Exercise
As with so many other ailments, exercise is the first step in making your body feel better. Exercising to strengthen the back muscles and core muscles will help keep you standing stronger for longer without pain. Use yoga poses to ease the aches and pains associated with standing on your feet all day.
End of Day Poses:
- Legs up the wall - Lie down on the floor next to a wall, put your feet up the wall, and straighten your legs. Start with just a few minutes, eventually working up to 20 minutes at a time.
- Knee to chest - Lie down on your back and pull one knee at a time up to your chest. Hold here for 10-30 seconds. Repeat with the other leg.
- Figure Four - Lie down on your back, pull your right foot over your left knee, then raise your left leg toward your chest. Hold for 10-30 seconds. Repeat with the other leg.
During the Day Poses:
- Standing Half Moon Pose - Reach your arms to the ceiling and interlace your fingers. Lean to the right for 10-15 seconds, then lean to the left for 10-15 seconds
- Tree Pose - While standing, place your left foot onto your right leg at about thigh level, and balance there. Then do the same thing with your right foot on your left leg.
- Standing Forward Fold - Standing, bend at the waist and reach toward the floor, then roll up one vertebrae at a time, until standing straight again.
Tip to Reduce Pain #2: What to Wear
A good pair of shoes is a life saver for anyone who is on their feet all day. Everyone has had the experience of wearing an uncomfortable shoes at a party or event where you are on your feet a lot, and how much that hurts at the end of the day. If you have the kind of job where standing for hours on end happens every day, you cannot afford to have an uncomfortable pair of shoes. Make sure to check with the recommendations of the shoes you buy as to how often they need to be replaced for maximum comfort and support.
Compression socks or compression hose can be very beneficial for those on their feet all day as well. These socks or hose prevent blood from pooling in the legs or feet, which can cause discomfort. They also reduce your risk of blood clots.
Tip to Reduce Pain #3: What to Stand On
Some jobs requiring standing all day also have people walking and moving, so there is not constant pressure on your back, legs, and feet. However, if you work in a factory, teach classes, or even cook on a kitchen line, you may stand in a very small space for long periods of time. In this case, it might be worth looking into getting an anti-fatigue mat or mats. These mats add cushion to concrete and other unforgiving floors. Less pressure on your back, knees, and feet will allow you to stand for longer without feeling pain and fatigue.
If you stand on your feet all day long to make a living, call our team of doctors at South Orange Chiropractic Center for more ideas on how to reduce the pain, and see how chiropractic care can benefit you.