Do You Work on Your Feet all Day?
COMPEED® is working with Consultant Podiatrist Emma Supple to get the very best footcare advice. Here Emma imparts her advice to anyone who spends a lot of their working day on their feet: from healthcare professionals, teachers and hairdressers to baristas and bartenders, it’s all about home footcare and getting your Foot Uniform spot-on.
“If your job involves you standing all day, take heart – aside from taking its toll on your feet, it’s actually very good for you. Sitting for any length of time, for example in a sedentary desk job, is recognised not to be very healthy for us at all. We’re seeing standing desks grow in popularity – they are known to have beneficial effects on circulation, heart health and back pain – and I have even seen treadmills attached to office desks! So, if you are on your feet for most of the day, focus on feeling as comfortable as possible while you’re doing so. Here are my top foot tips to help you in your busy everyday lives.”
Consider your Foot Wardrobe: buy shoes to fit your foot shape
What you wear on your feet is so important. Style doesn’t have to be at the expense of comfort – both are perfectly possible. The first thing is to identify your own foot type. Know this and shoe shopping becomes so much easier.
Really look at your feet. What is your foot type? Is your foot wide or triangular? High arched, low arched? Covered in corns and calluses or picture-perfect? There really is no such thing as the ‘normal’ foot and add to that the modern world of always walking on hard flat surfaces and this is important information to have.
Whatever you wear, your ‘foot uniform’ for work must enable you to walk freely and in comfort without compromise. We have even seen this debated in the Houses of Parliament with the High Heels & Work Place Dress Code Debate.
Men and women will be looking at somewhat different styles, of course, but brogues are a pretty good starting point for all of us. That ¼ inch heel height, semi flexible sole and good foot coverage is a tried and trusted foot shoe choice.
One of my oft quoted rules for feet is directed at women: keep high heels for skirts and dresses; wear smart, comfortable flats with tailored trousers thereby giving your feet a regular rest from heels.
And how do your feet feel in your shoes? Do you find them comfortable? It’s an urban myth that shoes are expected to hurt and that foot pain is normal. It really isn’t and as podiatrists we are best placed to help you out with solving your individual foot issues.
If you have inherited family foot problems, bunions, hammer toes, corns and callus etc then make an appointment to see your local podiatrist (www.feetforlife.org for local postcode podiatrist). We see a dentist to check our teeth and we need to learn to see a podiatrist for foot and leg related matters.
What you can do at home to promote healthy feet: Top Tips
- Scrub your feet daily. Don’t just rely on the water sloshing over your feet to get them clean! Use a nail brush and get the dirt off those feet daily. It makes such a difference.
- Treat yourself to a really good foot cream and massage into your feet every day to keep your skin lovely and supple.
- Cut toenails straight across and try not to dig down the sides, as this could cause painful in-growing toenails.
- Mix it up a bit: wear different shoes from one day to the next and embrace the fashion for trainers – they are great shoes.
- Commute in a different pair of shoes to those you wear in the workplace – changing that shoe shape and material can give feet literal room to breathe and wriggle.
- If you can, change your shoes in the middle of the day too – keep a pair in a drawer or locker. Simply cooling feet makes a big positive difference. This is especially good for those whose job entails walking distances.
- Don’t ignore warning signs of a blister. If you’re experiencing that raw tingling sensation and skin reddening reach for COMPEED® blister plasters. They are a hand- and kit-bag essential – a footcare must-have for people on their feet for much of the day.
- Exercise the muscles in your feet. Feet are marvels of architecture and they need to be kept lovely and strong, whatever shape you have inherited. Keep the arches strong with simple foot exercises (scrunch toes and hold and repeat.)”
So, whatever your size or foot shape, invest time in treating your feet well. Give them time out from the pressure of being on them all day and make sure you’re well-stocked with everything you need to keep you up and running.
Emma Supple is Creative Clinical Director and Consultant Podiatrist; Fellow of the College of Podiatrists in both Podiatric Surgery and Podiatric Medicine of the College of Podiatry. FCPodS, FCPM, FFPM RCPS (Glasg), DPodM, PGDip (Pod)
You will find COMPEED® in the First Aid or Foot Care aisles in pharmacies and major supermarkets nationwide. More information can be found at www.compeed.co.uk