How to Get Used to Standing for Long Periods of Time

These days, there is a lot of concern about people who sit at their desks all day for work. Sitting for long periods of time has been linked to chronic health problems like heart disease and diabetes.

However, some people have the opposite problem. Doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals spend most of their time on their feet in a field that is notorious for its long hours.

The health problems that can arise from this include fatigue, back pain, and joint issues. If you find yourself on your feet for most of your work day, here are five tips to minimize pain, increase energy, and boost your performance on the job.

Start with the right shoes

For those who stand all day, the foundation of their work begins at the feet. The best nursing shoes are sturdy enough to withstand the demands of the job while being comfortable enough to wear all day.

doctor holding pen and x-ray near cow

A work shoe like the Dansko Unisex Professional Clog is ergonomically designed to minimize the impact of standing all day, which is why it is one of the industry’s most popular work shoes.

You can also enhance the comfort of a shoe with insoles. There are insoles for wide feet, flat feet, and high arches, among others, so almost everyone can find an insole to suit their unique needs.

Wear compression socks

Wearing compression socks helps with blood circulation and leg support, which can make a huge difference to someone who stands all day. Unlike regular socks, compression socks prevent painful swelling and varicose/spider veins, and the boost in circulation can keep the wearer energized through their work day.

Marathon runner running rocks in mountain

Pay attention to posture

Standing with proper posture distributes weight evenly throughout the body, which reduces stress on the back and legs. Good posture entails standing straight and tall with shoulders squared and in line with the hips and spine.

How to Get Used to Standing for Long Periods of Time

Posture is just as important while walking. Remember to walk heel-to-toe rather than planting your whole foot with each step.

Take stretching and sitting breaks

Staying in one position too long forces some parts of the body to work harder than others, which is why the impact of standing is often localized to a person’s feet, legs, and back. Simple stretches, like toe-touches and back-bends, are a quick way to energize your muscles.

Man doing stretching exercises at gym

Doing this regularly can help minimize that dreaded after-work soreness. Taking sitting breaks are another way to relieve the bodily stress that comes from standing.

If you find that you don’t have time to sit at work, you can also switch-up your standing position throughout the day.

Practice self-care after work

Taking care of your feet after work is the best way to ensure you can go back to your job refreshed and energized. Foot massages and foot soaks can be very effective without requiring much time or money.

If your feet are throbbing or swollen, elevating them on a stack of pillows above your heart can relieve pressure and enhance circulation. Rolling your feet on a tennis ball or water bottle can provide relief as well. A frozen water bottle has the added benefit of soothing aching muscles.

Foot care

Healthcare is a very demanding field, both physically and mentally. Healthcare workers are prone to burning out as they care for multiple patients throughout the day.

Neglecting yourself and especially your feet can impact your performance. So, remember the above tips to stay healthy, protect your feet, and enhance your productivity.

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