By Rehan Iqbal
8 hours a day on your feet starting to take its toll? Get a new job…
Just kidding! You don’t have to keep suffering. We cover tricks for avoiding pain at work, footwear to soothe your feet, and stretches you can do at home that will keep you pain-free all day.
Standing on your feet all day is NO JOKE. Anyone who thinks it is has never tried it.
Thankfully, there are some ergonomic adjustments, affordable work wear (a pair of amazing work boots will change your life), and simple stretches you can do in 10 minutes that are PROVEN to get rid of pain fast (until you hear that alarm at 6 am tomorrow).
#1 Stand Correctly!
No, not stand corrected—stand correctly!
The majority of pain in your joints is due to poor posture (assuming you have no serious medical issues). If you are experiencing foot, knee, or back pain, fix your posture first and foremost.
The American Chiropractic Association gives these tips:
- Bear your weight on the balls of your feet
- Keep your knees slightly bent
- Stand straight and tall with your shoulders pulled back
- Let your arms hang naturally
Most of you are probably thinking…WELL, DUH!…but you’d be surprised at how few people actually stand correctly.
If you are on your feet for hours on end at work, shift your weight periodically from foot to foot or even from toe to heel every 10-15 minutes. That should alleviate the stress on your joints.
This might sound crazy at first, but did you know that hunter-gatherer tribes and other nomadic people squat frequently throughout the day?
Everyone from modern-day bush tribes to Eastern European guys dressed in ADIDAS sweat suits utilize the squat in some way or another.
Western society has lost mobility in its hips, ankles, and knees because we are either standing or sitting all the time. But people across the world from Asia to Africa squat while resting because it takes pressure off of weaker joints like the knees and puts them onto your feet (natural pressure-absorbing machines).
If anything, your muscles will get stronger and you’ll look awesome while doing it.
#3 Do Mobility Exercises at Home
Doing a quick bunch of stretches at night or the morning before work will help loosen up your joints and make standing all day a lot more comfortable.
Here are a few of the easiest ones you can do in about 10 minutes per session (do these about 3-5 times each):
- Hamstring stretch: Can you touch your toes (don’t answer that)? This is the exercise you hated in gym class. Stand up tall, knees bent, exhale as you bend forward, and wrap your hands around the back of your legs. Hold for about 45 seconds. Repeat!
- Lunge with spinal twist: Time to look like a Greek wrestler. This stretch is awesome. Some even call it the world’s greatest stretch! Lunge forward with your left foot keeping the other leg totally straight. Put your right hand on the ground and twist your body to the left, stretching your left arm toward the ceiling. Hold for 30 seconds and repeat on the other side.
- Butterfly stretch: This stretch hits all the major areas that are causing you agony. Sit on the ground with the soles of your feet together and knees bent out. Hold on to your ankles, tense your abs, and slowly lower your body toward the floor while pressing your knees down. Go as far as you can and hold it for 30 seconds.
#4 Buy Work Boots That Comfort Your Feet
Ever wonder how construction workers can stand 8-12 hours a day and not need a hip transplant at age 35?
Not just any heavy duty footwear, but good boots that are made to stand in all day. Trust us, we invested in a pair of quality leather boots with comfortable soles and it was a GAME CHANGER. Your feet take a lot of punishment, and there are pairs of boots made specifically to stop them from hurting when you stand in them through the day. They are worth every dollar.
Instead of investing money in ergonomic accessories, spending time stretching and exercising, or worse, suffering in pain, you can invest money in a single pair of boots that gives you the same result.
A good pair of boots for must be:
- Made of REAL leather
- Made with anti-fatigue technology (so you can walk around all day pain-free)
- Made with rubber soles
- Highly padded with cushioning
Go shopping for a top-quality pair and do your research. They will change your life.
#5 Treat Your Feet to Some Home Loving
Notice a pattern here? Be kind to your feet. Here are are a few ways to treat your feet better at home so they can function better the next day (and not hurt so much):
- Roll them out: Get an empty water bottle and roll your foot on it. This will help sooth the bones and relieve pain. There’s a reason that pro athletes use a roller or tennis ball after high-intensity workouts. A water bottle is perfect for the feet though.
- Take a foot bath: Soak your feet in warm, soapy water.
- Elevate your feet: Relax at home and put your feet on a foot rest. Keeping them elevated takes the pressure off and helps them rejuvenate.
The best way to avoid pain from standing all day at work is to change jobs. Seeing as how this isn’t fantasy land, the best thing you can do is to take the pressure off of them and prepare them for a long day of work.
Correct your posture, take the pressure off of them when you can, stretch to increase mobility, and, most importantly, invest in a good pair of work boots for standing all day! It’s not hard to get rid of work pain. You just need to put in a bit of effort every day.