Each year in the UK, hundreds of work-related foot injuries are reported and an increasing number of sick days are taken because of foot, leg and back issues.
This post aims to help you to understand the issues and sets out an easy way to reduce the risk of lost time in your business.
Standing-related injuries – what are they?
Workers required to spend long periods of time on their feet are at risk of pain and discomfort affecting feet, shins and calves, knees, thighs, hips and lower back. Studies have shown that these musculoskeletal issues are the most common causes of work-related illness.
When you are standing up, your muscles are at work to hold you there. Without resting or moving, joints from the neck to the feet can become temporarily “stuck”. Over time, muscles begin to get tired which can lead to tendon and ligament damage, causing soft tissue injuries.
In brief, standing on your feet all day can result in:
- Plantar fasciitis
- Low back pain
- Muscle soreness and fatigue
- High blood pressure
- Knee or hip arthritis
- Neck and shoulder stiffness
- Knee problems
- Stretched Achilles tendon (tendonitis)
- Poor circulation and swelling in feet & legs
How can I prevent injury?
The first and most obvious action point is to analyse your footwear provision. Over recent years there have been many innovations in both manufacturing techniques and materials used in the manufacture of safety footwear. A reliable partner providing your safety footwear will ensure you are up-to-date but keep a look out for latest innovations – they’re coming all the time!
It’s often tempting to buy low cost safety footwear but investing in the wellbeing of your staff has been well proven to save on peripheral costs. Spending a little more on footwear often means spending less overall.
Exercises to relieve foot pain
There are a lot of exercises you can do to relieve foot pain. We’ve selected four that will certainly help relax your feet after a long day at work:
- Toe Press – Pain at the base of your foot is often felt in the plantar fascia, this is the ligament that runs between your heel and toes. Toe presses loosen up this area and provide relief from discomfort. In bare feet, stand up and stretch your right leg behind you. Rest the toes of your right foot on the ground and push lightly until you feel the stretch along the bottom of your foot. Hold for 10 seconds, then do the same with your left foot.
- Tennis Ball Roll – Rolling a tennis ball under your foot is a great way to relieve pain. Sit down and remove your shoes and socks. Place a tennis ball on the floor and with the base of your foot, press down lightly on the ball. Slowly roll it around for 10 seconds and then switch feet.
- Knee Bends – To relax your knees, sit down and place your feet on the floor. Then lift your left leg out straight using your knee. Hold for six seconds, then switch legs.
- Ankle Pumps and Circles – After a long shift, you might feel some discomfort in your ankles and you may even have some difficulty moving your feet. Start by laying down on your back with your toes pointed toward the ceiling. Move your feet up and down, so that your toes alternately point up and forward. Do that 10 times. Next, roll your ankles in slow circles. You should feel both of these stretches in your Achilles tendon, along the back of your leg.
We hope you find this information useful. iSB Group are always happy to help find the right products and offer advice on how to Raise the bar of corporate well-being