Are your feet utterly exhausted due to hours of standing at work? If you are on your feet all day, foot pain will probably develop and increase over time. It interrupts your productivity and affects your mood at work. Even after you clock off, it lingers and prevents you from enjoying the rest of your day. So, how to stop your feet from hurting at work?
There are surprisingly easy methods you can apply during your working hours and breaks to reduce foot pain at work. Slight adjustments in your posture, lower body stretches, strengthening exercises, and foot elevation can all make a positive difference. Besides, you can employ supportive products like compression socks and custom insoles. Let’s explore the details!
Table of Contents
What You Will Need
Before taking action to stop feet pain at work, examine your footwear. Don’t expect to have pain-free feet if your shoes fit incorrectly, lack stability, and/or offer little to no support. Pay attention to these features when picking shoes:
- Your feet will swell after a long day standing. Good shoes are shoes that fit snugly lengthwise and widthwise.
- Boots that are more rigid than flexible are preferable. It is because rigid arches are much stronger, delivering decent support over a long period of use. Plus, stiff-soled boots do not bend or twist with pressure and stress.
- Do not aim for the lightest shoes possible. Lighter shoes are not necessarily good shoes. They will still hurt your feet if they are not the right pick. Also, they tend to deliver less support.
- Avoid flat-soled shoes. Instead, pick boots or sneakers whose heels are a bit higher than the forefoot.
Simple methods such as changing your standing postures, stretching, or elevating your feet will all make positive changes. But if you want to quicken the healing process, do high-impact sports after work, or simply pick up a few more shifts, consider getting these supportive items:
1. Compression socks
When you stand for a prolonged period, the pull of gravity causes blood to pool in your feet. It also keeps the veins from circulating blood back to your heart freely. This is the cause of soreness and swelling. Compression socks are designed to gently squeeze your lower limb, slowing the rate of blood flow to your leg. By that, the veins can have time to push low-oxygen blood back to the heart, making the circulatory system more balanced.
In other words, they offer better blood circulation so you can stand longer without feeling fatigued. When purchasing compression socks, notice the length and level of pressure. If you have never tried them before, start with a mild compression level (8 to 15 mmHg), and slowly increase the number to your liking.
2. Custom insoles
If your shoes accommodate shoe inserts, you have the option to place cushioning insoles inside them to further support the feet. Numerous footwear in today’s market offers very little cushioning. As a result, any additional arch support should bring shoe wearers a lot more comfort. When you visit a podiatrist, he/she may prescribe custom insoles, but you can shop for over-the-counter insoles too.
Remember to heed their sizes and supportive functions. Jelly-like or soft shoe inserts are not always good as they can be too squashy to assist your feet. It’s best to get rigid insoles that deliver shock absorption, firmness, and control.
Steps to Prevent Foot Pain at Work
1. Put on your compression socks and shoe inserts
To begin, put on compression socks every workday. Be careful to smooth them out so they don’t roll or fold, as that can make the socks too tight and cut off blood circulation.
Don’t forget your shoe inserts. Place them following these steps:
- Remove the insoles of your shoes.
- Slide the inserts into the shoes. Make sure they fit and sit flat.
- Put on and tighten your shoes. Your feet should feel firm and balanced.
2. Find variation in your postures
Your lower limbs are sore because they bear your body’s weight all day. A quick solution to make your feet not hurt at work is to change your posture regularly so the weight is on other parts of the body. You can lean your body against a wall or counter. If the job requires you to stand straight, switch your body’s weight between legs to give them occasional breaks. It’s incredible how much pressure this will take off your feet.
In addition, walking is much better for the feet than standing still. It stimulates blood circulation and allows the muscles to work differently. If you can’t walk around, try lifting one foot and then the other, like marching in place.
An important reminder is not to lock your knees while you stand. Rather, stand with one foot in front of the other and bend your knees slightly. This will release the pressure on your knee joints. Also, take a sit break or squat down for merely twenty seconds whenever possible.
Watch this video for further explanations of each posture:
3. Elevate your feet during breaks
During breaks, elevate your feet above the heart’s level for 10 to 15 minutes. Do this by placing them against a wall or stack of pillows. Elevating will help the blood that has pooled in your feet to flow toward your heart, lowering the pressure in your legs. If this seems impossible to do at your workplace, try it at home before your bedtime.
4. Strengthen your body and recover
Lastly, take special care of your feet when they are off duty. Stretching and exercising regularly will help strengthen your muscles and improve their resilience. It is like training your feet to adapt to long hours of standing. Strengthening exercises for the lower body include but are not limited to squats, heel raises, and lunges. But always listen to your body to avoid overexercising.
Other than that, home remedies like Epsom salt, herbs, warm baths, and ice packs can all keep your feet from hurting at work. Refer to our article on “how to prevent foot pain from standing all day” for details of each method.
Foot pain can have a bad effect on your enjoyment of daily life. In the long run, it can lead to more severe symptoms like heel spur or plantar fasciitis. So, take measures when you can to protect your health and well-being. We advise trying all the methods and tuning into your body to see what works best, then be consistent with it.
I am optimistic that the provided practices will prevent your feet from hurting at work as they are the ones that helped me most. Before you leave, leave your thoughts and questions in the comments. We will address your concerns as soon as possible.
Disclaimer: This article on how to stop your feet from hurting at work provides general information only. Please visit a podiatrist for personal advice on your particular conditions.
Veronica is our content editor. She is a talent in delivery. Her main work is editing and writing articles that are both informative and simple to follow. She is in charge of synthesizing our understanding of what personal protection equipment (PPE) is needed in each job, how to best apply it, and how to visualize that equipment.