Working extensive hours each day can take a toll on your body. Some jobs require people to sit for most parts of the day while others endure more physically taxing work, and are tasked to be on their feet for long periods of time. Medical care workers, restaurant staff, office clerks to bank tellers are among the known professionals that need to be on their feet all day. It can be damaging to put your body through the daily strain.
Your body can start to hurt and experience uncomfortable back pain, swollen feet, and ankles, over fatigue and muscle soreness. These are a few of the many health risks that can arise while on the job. Workers who are obligated to spend most of their time on their feet have a greater risk of increased pain and discomfort affecting their hips, back, knees, and legs. Older workers over the age of 50, with manual labor jobs, are more prone to knee and joint pain as they age. Studies have reported that the majority of muscular and skeletal issues originate from work-induced health problems, worsening existing heart disease, varicose veins, and arthritis.
To help prevent these issues, we have listed below a practical guide to keeping comfortable when working all day, ensuring your body remains fit and healthy for the duration of your professional career.
Prioritize your feet and legs
The only way to prevent your legs and feet from becoming sore after a long day at work is by wearing proper footwear and supportive shoe inserts. Keep the high heels and pointy shoes for parties. Consider comfort above everything else. The design should provide additional relief to the soles of your feet. This will help you continue your work with minimal pain and exhaustion. The use of stockings and compression socks for standing all day have notable benefits in easing pain in your feet and legs and improving blood circulation. Medical studies prove that conditions such as varicose veins and arthritis are automatically increased by standing and working for long hours. Compression socks can boost blood flow and keep your feet feeling energized throughout the day.
Good posture is key
People often forget about their posture while at work. Oftentimes desk jobs can lead us to slump over a computer all day without thinking of how it can affect our posture and overall well-being. Improper posture when sitting or standing all day at work can lead to more fatigue, and imminent back, foot, and leg issues. Practice standing straight, sitting upright at your office chair, and correct yourself each time you find yourself slumping. In time, through due diligence, practicing good posture will become an indispensable routine to keep and make you feel more comfortable after a long day at work.
Be aware of your breathing
When working all day remember to be aware of your own breathing. Deep breathing is an effective way to stay calm when having a long stressful day at work. It will help you stay focused and feel more energized. Deep breathing is essential for keeping healthy. Explore different breathing exercises or techniques to see what best applies to you. Practice deep breathing before leaving for work, while at the office, and once you get home. Creating a deep breathing routine will feel natural after continued use. Try out the Breathwrk Breathing App for free guided breathing exercises.
Give your body a break
Take any opportunity that arises during work to give your feet and body a well-needed break. Alternate positions, if you are standing all the time, find time to sit. If you have a desk job, take short breaks to walk and stand. During your lunch break or between meetings, make use of any extra time to relax. If your work offers a staff breakroom, use it to lay down and elevate your feet. Try to raise your feet at a level that is higher than your head to relieve the pressure from being on your feet all day long. Take deep breaths, close your eyes to reduce the strain from looking at the computer for hours on end. This will enable you to have the stamina to work until the end of your shift.
Stretch it out
If your job demands you to stand all day, it is wise to change the manner in which you stand. Keeping in one position for too long can cause your legs and feet to become sore. It can also lead to unwanted back and muscle pain. Stretch and do calf lifts to help reduce the pressure on your feet. Tiptoe for ten seconds and slowly lower your body to the ground. Look into taking up yoga which is an effective way to add flexibility, keep you limber, loosen your tense muscles, and strengthen your body.
Create a barrier between you and the hard floor
If you are restricted to a fixed space in your office that has a hard floor, request your boss for a rubber mat or small area rug to be placed between you and the floor. Providing a cushioned area for your feet to stand on as you work throughout the day will minimize the impact on your legs, knees, and feet as it comes in contact with the hard floor. Specialized anti-fatigue mats can be made of rubber, leather, or vinyl. They help support your feet and are ideally designed to minimize stress on your lower limbs.
Disregarding the effects of long work hours on your body can lead to adverse problems to your well-being in the future. While we are not able to avoid the demands of our jobs, we can however take the significant steps to safeguard our body to be able to proficiently concentrate on our jobs and have a long and fruitful career.