We all hear about how sitting too much at work is bad for our health. But, what about those who have to stand for many hours at their jobs? Are there health risks associated with standing too long while working?
The answer is yes, standing too long without breaks at your job can cause health problems. In a recent study published in Human Factors, prolonged standing can lead to a myriad of health problems including back problems and joint pain.
The first author Maria Garcia, notes that long-term muscle aches and fatigue resulting from prolonged standing has not received very much research. In the study, it is also proven that both young and old are affected. Those participating in the study were 12 women and 14 men. The age groups were broken into two groups and participants were simulating standing work for 5 hours at an interval.
According to the Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS), working in a standing position on a regular basis can lead not only to fatigue and lower back pain but can also cause other health problems such as sore feet, swollen legs, varicose veins and stiffness in the neck and shoulders.
So, what should employers do in a situation where employees have to stand for long periods of time? When the work requires employees to be standing for long periods of time high chairs can be provided to allow the worker to sit for a bit.
In a work place that is trying to be well-balanced, the workers are allowed to be in a number of positions including sitting down and standing. Unfortunately, not all work places are so accommodating and the standing can begin to takes its toll.
Saving Your Feet
For those who have no choice but to stand while working there are things that you can do to help alleviate the foot and muscle aches and pains.
- Put your feet up while on breaks and this includes your lunch breaks.
- Wear shoes with good support.
- Watch your weight as extra weight puts strain on your legs and feet.
- Exercise regularly to maintain good circulation.
- Eat a low salt diet to avoid excess swelling.
- Do not wear tight hosiery or high heels.
- Change your standing position regularly.
You are not going to last too long as a great employee if you are having issues with your feet. It is very important to take care of yourself and your feet. Long periods of standing do take a toll on your body but following the simple tips above will help alleviate problems that may arise.
When you get home after work and have been standing on your feet for hours, treat them kindly. Put your feet up or give them a nice warm soak in warm water and Epsom salt. Not only will your feet thank you, your whole body will. Taking even just a few minutes to take care of your feet will make a big difference.
For foot problems that just do not seem to get better, be sure to make an appointment with your foot specialist.