The Health Risks of Standing All Day Jobs
You’re probably familiar with the phrase “too much of anything is harmful to your health”. While you’ve most certainly heard about the risks of sitting all day, not so many people are aware that standing all day could equally lead to health complications. This is because it causes a lot of strain on muscles that are not intended to experience a lot of stress for too long. If you happen to work in an environment where you are required to be on your feet for a good part of the day, you are at risk of developing some of the five health problems discussed below.
5 Health Problems
1. Plantar Fasciitis
Even though it is most commonly associated with people who are overweight and above 40 years old, Plantar Fasciitis, or the runner’s heel could easily become your new health problem if you stand for long hours during work. It is a kind of inflammation of your plantar fascia which is a tissue that runs on the bottom of your foot and connects your heel bone to your toes. While standing all day is not a leading cause of plantar fasciitis, it does accelerate its development and you should thus be concerned about it. Luckily, there are exercises you can do to reduce the pain experienced from the condition.
It may seem too far-fetched but standing all day can result in you developing a slouched posture. Maintaining an upright body position for long hours will most definitely require a lot of energy while making other parts of your body to strain. Naturally, your brain will send signals to the affected parts of your body and in turn result in you changing into unnatural positions which may seem comfortable at first but are creating a bad posture for you. The slouching may relieve any short-term pain you experienced but abusing this posture repetitively will result in permanent effects.
3. Varicose Veins
Varicose veins simply refer to veins that have become abnormally enlarged and twisted. They are visible and are mostly found on the back of your legs, on your ankles, and at times even on your feet. Standing all day will subject your body to a lot of gravitational pull. Gravity will be working to pull the blood flowing on your leg downwards despite your internal system trying to pump the blood upwards so that it can go to the heart and get replenished with oxygen. For people who stand for long hours, the veins and valves that prevent backflow of blood will eventually weaken and fail and blood will thus have a hard time moving upwards. The result is inflamed veins which if not treated will require hospitalization.
As with plantar fasciitis, bunions are not caused by standing all day for long periods but are accelerated when you do. A bunion is a condition where the base of your great toe swells up and in turn pushes against the next toe. This causes this area of your foot to be painful and leads to your skin being sore. They mostly develop due to foot injuries, hereditary factors, or even because of deformities you might have experienced at birth. As such, standing all day accelerates the discomfort in your feet and further increases the problem.
5. Pre-Term Delivery
Despite being excused from heavy duties during pregnancies, women today are still forced to work for some time to make ends meet. After all, they need to work and ensure that their infants will have food to eat by the end of the day. However, this comes at a cost as research reveals that women who walk for 6 hours daily on average are more likely to deliver pre-term or give birth to children that are underweight. In addition to this, other studies also explain that women who work for more than 25 hours in a week experience slow rates of fetal growth.
How To Avoid Feet/Leg Problems
You need not wait for any of the above conditions to develop for you to start seeking medical help. This is because you can easily avoid most of these problems by engaging in small but helpful habits that will ensure you remain fit and healthy.
1. Wear Appropriate Shoes
If you are to stand all day, like when you’re a nurse for example, then you want to be in the most comfortable shoes (or mules) you can find. Avoid heels or improperly fitting shoes as they will add up to the strain experienced on your feet. Narrow shoes are also a big no as they will compress your toes.
2. Take Seated Breaks
Love yourself a little bit more. During breaks, find a comfortable spot where you can sit and relax before resuming your work. When there is less intense work, you can momentarily sit as you wait for the next customer. You should also consider having your lunch breaks while seated as well.
3. Try New Helpful Therapies
If you’re into Yoga, you could greatly reduce the stress on your feet by trying out some few short exercised during breaks to help stretch out the muscles on your feet. In addition to Yoga exercises, you could also take foot baths at the end of the day, wear shoe orthotics which provide great arch support and reduce shocks and try to reduce some weight. Reducing weight will go a long way in making your feet be capable of sustaining weight that is within your body’s limits.
Even though our bodies were designed to work under a lot of pressure and keep us going, standing all day jobs can take a toll on us, and especially our legs and feet. If you are also obese or have some existing foot conditions, the health risks will only just keep piling up, and this won’t be good news for you. Luckily, you can prevent all the conditions mentioned by simply taking regular breaks and reducing the strain on your feet whenever you get the chance to. Selecting quality and comfortable shoes will also be a step in the right direction.
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