We spend roughly a third of our day in a workplace, but how much thought do we put into what impact our footwear choices have on the health of our feet over the course of our days – let alone our careers?
According to our Healthy Feet Survey, more than half of Australian women (52%) experienced sore feet after a day of work in just the last 12 months. Almost two-thirds (64%) said they had purchased shoes that were fashionable, but not necessarily the best fit.
Women have a high-risk factor when it comes to workplace foot injuries and foot pain, with inappropriate and unsupportive shoes contributing largely to the problem.
Women have a high-risk factor when it comes to workplace foot injuries and foot pain, with inappropriate and unsupportive shoes contributing largely to the problem. Often, women choose shoes that are narrow at the front of the shoes, squeezing their toes and bones, and inducing problem like bunions, corns and calluses.
Wearing high heels, which changes the distribution of pressure under our feet to be largely taken by the front of the foot, can also lead to a significant and permanent change in just 2 to 3 years.
What Are The Common Workplace Foot Problems?
Some of the most common foot conditions women experience are listed below – have you experienced any of these?
- Corns and calluses
- Heel or arch pain
- Pain in the ball of the foot (Morton’s neuroma)
- Skin and nail problems (ingrown toenails, blisters, fungal toenails)
- Bunions and hammertoes
Promoting Workplace Foot Health
Understanding the triggers and taking a preventative approach to how you maintain your feet – and the shoes you wear – can go a long way to ensuring your feet don’t get in the way of a long and successful career.
- Choose work shoes carefully – opt for shoes with lower heels, good arch support and if you experience any problems, seek custom foot orthotics (as opposed to just the cushioning one-size-fits-all type of insole) to perfectly match the contour of your feet and give you the best support and protection well into the future
- Stay mobile – changing positions regularly helps to avoid straining one specific muscle group more than another. Strike a balance between moving around the office and sitting down and resting. It’s also great for your circulation!
- Stretch, stretch, stretch – stopping at regular intervals to stretch, relax and lengthen muscles can help to avoid stiffness and pain – and may help to ease your end-of-day aches
- Do your homework – your skin mirrors what is happening beneath it, so wash your feet regularly and inspect them for corns, calluses and changes to your nails. Don’t forget to check between the toes, too!
- Don’t delay getting help – your local My FootDr podiatrist can assess your feet and recommend optimum footwear based on your job and your foot type to provide better support in the workplace, as well as a management plan to prevent injury
If you’re currently experiencing foot pain, book an appointment with our experienced team by calling 1800 FOOTDR or book an appointment online.