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Measures to reduce strain on feet
 
Anti-fatigue mats
Anti-fatigue mats help prevent strain, pronation, decreased blood flow and fatigue.

One of the most common causes of foot strain is pronation. Pronation is the rolling movement of the foot as the arch of the foot collapses to the ground when walking or running. It’s a natural process that helps the foot absorb the shock of stepping. Despite this process, the foot doesn’t absorb all the shock — some of it goes up the legs and into the lower back, causing pain and discomfort.

Shoes with cushioning help to absorb this shock, but they can worsen pronation which requires much more arch support. While this footwear is not the cause of pain, it can aggravate pre-existing back conditions usually caused from long periods of standing or walking. Insoles are usually the answer to this issue, with a wide variety of foot relief insoles available across the world. Flat-footedness is a prevalent condition, and arch support insoles are a quick and affordable solution to this potentially dangerous issue.

Pronation is a beneficial physiological process, allowing the majority of motion to exist at the midtarsal joints as opposed to springing up towards the lower back. A rise in footwear that clings to the outline of the foot (as opposed to cushioned shoes and sneakers) has occurred in recent years in response to a Harvard study that foundthat running, walking and standing barefoot reduces the shock to the feet and legs. People running barefoot strike the ground towards the front and middle of the foot, rather than the heels, which facilitates pronation and reduces injury. By running on the balls or the middle of their feet, runners put up to a third less impact on their foot than when they wear shoes that tilt them towards striking the ground with their heels.

Howstuffworks outlines the negative effects of long-term standing. When standing for more than an hour, the feet can swell by as much as ten percent. Long-term standing without assistance is very hard on the feet, legs, and lower back, causing problems like:

  • Poor posture
  • Decreased flow of blood
  • Fatigue
  • Increased proclivity towards arthritis
  • Varicose veins
  • Tendinitis
  • Bunions

To prevent foot and leg strain, workers whose jobs demand that they stand in the same place for hours at a time should weave movement into their shift schedules. Walking up and down the aisle will allow your muscles to move. In the types of jobs that require constant movement already, like waiting tables, female workers are encouraged to keep a pair of comfortable, well-fitting flats as well as a pair of low heels to the workplace. Switching from one type of shoe to the next helps to exercise different parts of the foot and spread he point of impact from one part of the foot to another.

Anti-fatigue mats laid in high-traffic or standing areas will also help to reduce foot injuries, and are a healthy solution to what can become serious complications over time.

 

 
 
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