If you work on your feet all day, chances are you’ve learnt to live with back pain, sore feet, stiff legs and all-over aches. Sound familiar?
It’s a daily occurrence for most of us. From doctors, nurses and police to retail and hospitality workers, not to mention mums, we spend a huge amount of a time on our feet day in, day out despite our body’s cries of despair.
Luckily, there are a few things you can do to ease the discomfort.
1. Make smart shoe choices
You’ve probably figured out that stilettos aren’t a wise choice for all-day wear, but foot comfort goes beyond heel height. Footwear with underfoot cushioning and arch support is a lifesaver to anyone on their feet for long periods of time. They help support your whole body which is the key to avoiding aches and pains. Your shoes also need to be good-quality – no pleather pumps! – so that they don’t rub and cause blisters or stop your feet from breathing properly. Thankfully, you can still get stylish shoes that offer great comfort, too. Try Ziera Shoes LIDO Loafers, $239.95. A great day-to-night option.
2. Work on your posture
If you’re on your feet a lot, the best thing you can do is be aware of your posture. Try not to slouch or put all of your weight on one hip or leg – that’s asking for trouble. Instead, make sure that your weight is evenly distributed across your whole foot (not just the heels) and imagine you’ve left a coat hanger in your top. It sounds silly, but it gets you used to pulling your shoulders back and standing up straighter. Soon it’ll become a habit and you’ll have great posture and less back problems.
3. Breathe well
It’s the easiest trick in the book, but inhaling and exhaling properly (read: deeply) can have a dramatic effect on your posture and, in turn, any aches, pains and stiffness. As an added bonus, concentrating on your breathing pattern is a great stress-reliever. Something we all need!
4. Shake it off
Taylor Swift’s Grammy-winning song doubles as sage advice for anyone standing up all day! Try to avoid being in just one position for eight hours straight. Remember to stretch, roll your ankles, shift the weight from one foot to another and just shake it off. You’ll stop yourself from getting stuck in any positions that will prove painful at the end of the day. Plus, any time you move, you’re reminded to stand up straighter and breathe properly, creating a healthy habit.
5. Don’t skip a break
When you’re in the middle of an urgent task, it can be tempting to just power on through a break, but here’s why you shouldn’t: taking a break forces you to move. And, as Taylor proved above, that’s a great thing for anyone on their feet all day because it’s stopping you from slouching, slumping or leaning in a weird way without even realising you’re doing it. Breaks often mean a sit down too which is better than 10 Christmases for tired feet!
6. Ask for an anti-fatigue mat
It’s a well-known fact that hard flooring is completely unforgiving on feet – cushioned footwear or no cushioned footwear. Speak to your boss about an anti-fatigue mat if you’re in a job that requires you to be standing in one position on hard flooring all day. According to Safe Work Australia, it’s a totally reasonable request “for repetitive tasks performed while standing” so don’t feel bad asking.
7. At the end of the day, be cool
You might not be able to convince your partner or flatmate for a foot rub at the end of a long day, but you can soothe tired feet and swollen limbs with a cooling pamper session. Look out for witch hazel and mint – two zingy ingredients that will cool and freshen just like an ice-cold foot soak! Try L’Occitane Shea Butter Foot Cream, $14, and Clarins Energising Leg Emulsion For Tired Legs, $55.
Brought to you by Ziera Shoes