Take Care of Your Feet

Some professions keep us on our toes more than others, and if you have one of those jobs, I’m sure you feel the effects. Here are some industries and jobs that are unkind to our feet, plus what you can do to give yours a break.

People who work in the following sectors spend a lot of time on their feet:

Education — teachers
Tourism — tour guides, event planners
Health Care — doctors, physician’s assistants, nurse practitioners
Performing Arts — fine artists, dancers
Photography — photographers, photographer’s assistants
Postal Services — mail carriers, mail sorters
Restaurant — chefs, bakers, waiters, greeters, servers
Retail — register attendant, stockist, salesperson
Spa and Beauty — hairstylists, makeup artists, massage therapists
Sports — athletes, coaches

Your situation may or may not fall into one of the above categories, but if the duties of your particular job require a significant number of hours walking or standing, here are some things you can take into consideration to make yourself and your aching feet more comfortable.

Take breaks. This may not be possible for you, but if you can, try to avoid standing for long periods of time. Get off your feet and sit for a few minutes.

Elevate your feet. If/when you do get time to sit down and take a pause, try to keep them raised. This will help combat inflammation and prevent swelling.

Wear comfortable shoes. (For women, this includes avoiding high-heeled shoes as much as possible.) Choose ones that are not too tight, are well-cushioned with shock-absorbing soles, and include arch support.

Invest in some orthotics. These are inserts for your shoes that add extra support and cushion. If you have high arches, you may need a little extra arch support. If you have heel spurs, you may need some extra heel cushioning. Orthotics come in a wide range of sizes, configurations and prices, and are available at pharmacies, through your podiatrist’s office, or at shoe stores.

If you wear socks, make sure they’re cotton, versus made of a synthetic material. Cotton will let your feet to “breathe,” allowing moisture to evaporate and keeping your feet dry.

Indulge in a foot massage. This can help alleviate knots and tension in your aching feet. Even if you can’t enjoy regular foot massages, you can do daily foot exercises: Flex your toes, point your toes, and rotate your feet and ankles.

Soak them in cold water. If your feet are swollen after a day’s work, it’s best to soak them in cool to cold water to reduce the swelling and minimize pain.

Image via Josh on Flickr

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