Top Tips For Working On Your Feet
We know that sitting all day at a desk job isn’t the best idea when trying to lead a healthy lifestyle. However, worrying new statistics suggest that standing all day could actually be worse.
It may be hard to believe but 75% of the world’s working population spends all day on their feet.
Retail workers are obviously among them, along with construction workers, teachers, nurses and wait staff. That’s why it’s important to take critical measures to ensure, as much as possible, your health doesn’t suffer as a result of spending too much time upright. It can cause fatigue, cramps, back and feet pain, and muscle stiffness.
Taking measure to strengthen and circulate your physique will ensure the right form and balance.
Below are tips on proper posture, effective stretches, and ways to alleviate stress on the body.
Correcting your Posture – Good posture keeps bones and joints in correct alignment and prevents muscle fatigue. It’s important to ensure:
- Earlobes are level with your shoulders
- Shoulders are pulled up and back
- Ribs are aligned with hips
- Stomach stacked in
- Knees are slightly bent
- Feet are shoulder-width apart
- Hands are floating
- Your weight is on your heels.
Standing Stretches – Simple standing stretches can help relax muscles and reduce stiffness. Try these:
- Mackenzie back stretch – Stretch backwards with your feet shoulder-width apart and hands on lower back. Hold your breath for three seconds.
- Toe press – Push one leg behind you and press your toes on the ground, pushing to feel tension. Hold for 10 seconds.
- Standing Half Moon – Stand with your feet together, raise your arms above your head and interlock your hands. Stretch them over to the left and then the right and hold for ten seconds on each side.
- Neck Retraction – Tuck your chin in to your chest and slide your head towards your spine to align your neck. Repeat 10-15 times.
- Standing Hamstring Stretch – Rest one foot on an elevated surface with knee straight, stretch forward. Hold for 15-30 seconds and repeat three times on each leg.
- Shoulder rolls – Move your shoulder forward then upward, then far backward, but without moving your body. Repeat 10 times on each side.
If possible, try and limit your standing to half of your working day, and change your standing position with slight movements. Rolling your feet on a tennis ball will improve circulation while proper cushioned footwear, shoe inserts and compression socks will also help. There are even anti fatigue mats available now to reduce foot pain. If you can, try and mix standing with walking and sitting every 30 minutes.
Proper lifting techniques are also important while working on your feet to prevent back pain. Remember to always to lift objects using your legs, so squat down, keep a neutral spine and chest up, pushing yourself away from the ground with your feet. When carrying the object lead with your hips.
Whether you are required to work all day on your feet or opt to use a standing desk, proper postures and stretches will help counteract the discomfort that might come from prolonged standing.
Having a proper stance keeps joints in correct alignment and prevents muscle fatigue, while stretching and yoga can help with improving circulation and reducing pain. The most important takeaway is that the human body is engineered to move. Like exercising, standing requires variety and proper form to maintain good health.
Jim Arabia, VP of Marketing at BigRentz, the nation’s largest online construction rental equipment network serving retailers across the US.