Whether you’re a nurse working in a hospital or a picker in a warehouse, these roles often require standing for long periods. As a result, many people experience aching legs and feet from standing all day. In these kinds of roles, standing on your feet throughout your shift is usually unavoidable. That’s why it’s important to put aside time to take care of your body to reduce symptoms of aching legs and feet.
Here’s why these aches happen and what you can do about it.
- What Happens When You Stand All Day
- Tennis Ball Exercise
- Foam Roller Exercise
- Elevate Your Feet
- Compression Socks
- Soak Your Feet
What Happens When You Stand All Day
After standing all day, you’ve probably experienced sore feet and swollen feet, ankles and calves. Swelling happens because your body has to work harder, circulating the blood from your lower body to your heart. Normally, the blood can flow easily, but standing for long periods creates a fluid build-up which creates swelling.
Tired lower limbs, known as lower limb fatigue, can also occur due to standing all day. This can cause potential cramping or back pain.
As your job requires you to stand for extended periods, experiencing these symptoms from time to time may be unavoidable. However, you can do various things to take care of your body and reduce or stop the symptoms.
The best thing to do to avoid aching feet is choose the right footwear for your job. This means if you’re a warehouse picker, you should look for something that’s puncture-resistant with a steel-toe cap to protect your feet from falling objects. A nurse should choose something comfortable and durable for walking long hospital wards.
Choosing the right footwear can depend on your role. To make sure you find something suitable, make sure you check out our ultimate buying guide below.
In general, look out for the following:
Tennis Ball Exercise
The tennis ball exercise is a useful exercise to know. You can do it at home or you can bring the tennis ball with you to work to do at break times. All you need to do is place the tennis ball beneath your foot and roll it back and forth. This pressure will enable the muscles to stretch and lengthen. It’s particularly beneficial because your muscles need stretching after contracting all day from standing.
Foam Roller Exercise
You may see people in the gym using foam rollers to stretch and lengthen their muscles. These exercises aren’t just beneficial for athletes but it’s also helpful for everyone. Foam rolling limits soreness and tightness by increasing blood flow and flexibility, which is what you need following a long day of working on your feet.
To exercise with a foam roller, sit down on the floor and place a foam roller underneath one of your lower legs. Place your other leg on the floor to provide support. Put your hands at your sides or just behind you and raise your hips off of the floor, putting your weight against your calf muscle with the foam roller underneath. Roll from below the knee to above the ankle. Then repeat on your opposite leg.
Elevate Your Feet
Putting your legs up after a long day is usually a natural action that most people do after returning home. Next time you do this, try elevating them above your heart. This will make it easier for your body to circulate the blood from your lower body to your heart, so your body can rest and recover from a long day of work.
Compression socks can reduce swelling in your lower body because they prevent fluid build-up. As long as you can wear trousers to work, it’s easy to hide that you’re wearing them. It’s important to choose compression socks that aren’t too tight and if you feel uncomfortable at any point, make sure you remove them.
Soak Your Feet
A nice, relaxing foot soak has a variety of benefits - and it’s even better if you add Epsom bath salts to the water. The magnesium in Epsom salt is known to help alleviate muscle tension. Add this to a warm basin of water and place your feet in it for 20 minutes. You could also add a few drops of essential oils, such as chamomile or lavender, to help relieve stress.
These aren't the only tips and tricks you can try either. For more useful information on what you can do to stop aching legs and feet from standing all day, make sure you download our latest remedy guide.
Discover More Home Remedies for Aches and Pains
Whatever the job, there are risks of injury and conditions developing - even an office job could cause repetitive strain injury. The best way to reduce the chances of conditions such as tendonitis or lower back pain developing is by investing in self-care for your whole body.