Standing Up for Service Workers: Tips for Those on Their Feet All Day
By Paul Rothbart
Most people must work for a living. That’s not a bad thing. In addition to a salary and benefits, many jobs bring a feeling of satisfaction that one is doing something useful and contributing to society. If your occupation involves something you enjoy doing, work can be a pleasure. It’s never “work” if you love what you’re doing, right?
No matter what you do or how much you love doing it, work can be tough on the body and mind. Long hours of exerting physical and mental effort can cause fatigue -- and sometimes pain and injury.
Heavy physical labor, such as heavy lifting and using manual tools, can certainly take a toll. However, something as seemingly non-physical as standing all day long can also be harmful. For those whose job entails being on their feet for most of their shifts, The Joint Chiropractic has some tips to help.
Tips for Those on Their Feet All Day
People who work in service of all kinds tend to be on their feet all day. Their jobs are important, and the physical ailments and pain they often develop should not be taken lightly. There are things you can do to help prevent these kinds of problems.
Wear Compression Hose
One of the major problems with standing in one place all day is that the lack of movement limits blood flow, which is vital for the health of any body part. It also aids healing and helps prevent pain. Compression socks are designed to press against the veins to stimulate muscle movement and blood flow.
These types of socks can be very helpful in preventing swelling of the foot or ankle as well as varicose veins. They come in different lengths, styles, and colors, so you can be fashionable as well as comfortable. Although there are associated risks for certain people, such as skin conditions and vascular problems, compression socks are an option for those standing all day.
Wear Good Shoes
The health problems associated with standing are exacerbated by improper footwear. A pair of shoes that you are going to wear all day while standing at work needs to fit well, provide sufficient arch support, and be sturdy. Shoes that are too tight are sure to cause foot pain; if they are too loose, you can end up with painful blisters. Fallen arches and flat feet are particularly painful and can cause foot and ankle pain and, potentially, damage to the knees and hips. It can also help to keep an extra pair of shoes at work and switch them halfway through the day.
Try to Move
Many of the aches and pains that occur when standing at work are because of a lack of movement. Some jobs, such as cashiers and maitre d’s, require standing in one place most of the time. Take a short walk during breaks and when you can’t move around, try changing positions frequently, shifting your weight, and wiggling your toes. All of these small movements increase blood flow and help to counter the pain and damage from standing.
Take Care of Your Health
Good overall health is helpful in preventing any kind of pain or injury. If you stand all day at work, it’s important to get regular exercise and maintain a healthy body weight. Those extra pounds put enormous stress on your feet and lower body. Strong legs and flexible joints and tendons can go a long way toward preventing excessive pain.
Occupations That Require Standing All Day
Many of the occupations in which the worker is providing a service involve standing. These people -- who are so important to the community -- need to protect themselves while standing to perform their jobs.
Nurses are truly the unsung heroes of the medical profession. They have more contact with patients than doctors do and are the ones who respond when a hospitalized person needs immediate attention. It could be that they are in pain or distress, or simply need a drink of water or to use a bedpan. A nurse will be the one to get there first and provide the needed service.
In addition to helping patients, nurses perform many of the duties of office workers, maintaining and updating charts and patient records, keeping up with databases, and other clerical work. It’s a tough but vital job, and nurses often work extended shifts when needed to ensure there is enough staff to accommodate all patients. If you know a nurse -- and there are lots of them out there -- National Nurses Day is May 6.
Nurses are not the only essential workers who serve the public. Police officers are the buffer between the good and bad elements of society. As the motto says, they protect and serve. Large cities and downtown areas of smaller ones often have beat cops who patrol the area on foot. These brave public servants spend their entire shift on their feet on hard pavement. They also step on and off curbs and occasionally have to chase down a suspect. In addition to the typical ailments of standing, they sometimes suffer ankle sprains.
Waiters, busboys, dishwashers -- they are on their feet constantly, going from table to table, taking orders, bringing food and drinks to the patrons, cleaning after them, then cleaning for the next group that comes in. Although eating out may not be as important as health care or police protection, they are the people who handle your food. When in a restaurant, these are the people who make your experience more pleasant. They are on their feet constantly, going from table to table, taking orders, and bringing food and drinks to the patrons. Doing this for eight or more hours several times a week can cause the feet and ankles to ache. Carrying heavy trays can cause shoulder and neck pain.
People who work in retail have one of the most notorious stand-all-day jobs. Stock clerks get to move around but often push heavy carts and carry weighty packages. Cashiers stand in one place between breaks and, when it’s busy, don’t have many opportunities to move even a little bit. They also have to look down at their registers, which can be harmful to the neck. Retail workers perform a vital service, especially those who work in supermarkets, and they need to care for themselves too.
Can Chiropractic Help People Who Stand at Their Job?
Making use of tips to help prevent pain and injury when you stand all day can be helpful. Nevertheless, being on your feet for long periods can eventually cause problems. Seeking treatment from a medical professional is a good idea. Chiropractic care is a treatment option, but can it help those who stand? The short answer is yes.
There are many benefits of chiropractic care that can help with treating foot, ankle, and leg pain. Joint problems such as subluxations and reduced range of motion can be fixed with chiropractic adjustments. This includes the joints of the lower body, such as treatment for ankle, knee, and hip issues.
Ankle adjustments may help strengthen the joint and improve flexibility, which helps the joint stand up to hours of being on your feet. Chiropractic treatments may also improve blood flow. This helps prevent pooling in the legs that can cause swelling and varicose veins.
Long periods of standing can be harmful to the hips and lower back. Chiropractors are skilled at treating these areas, as well as the neck. The chiropractic approach of treating the body as a whole can be very beneficial to people who stand at work.
There are many ways to make a living, but some can be hard on your body and health. People who stand all day at work often experience pain and damage in their lower body, back, and neck. Taking steps to help prevent these problems is essential. Regular chiropractic visits can also help relieve pain, correct issues, and make your job a bit easier.
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