When done for long periods of time, even an activity as simple as standing can lead to pain in your feet. So you need to know how to protect your feet when you're stuck standing for hours on end, especially on a hard surface.
Sometimes you simply can't get off your feet, because your job requires you to stand or walk a lot or because you're stuck in an area where there isn't a place to sit down. In the latter situation -- for instance, if you're sightseeing or shopping all day -- do whatever you can to temporarily relieve the pressure on each foot. Walk as much as you can rather that standing still; wiggle your toes; shift back and forth from one foot to another; stand on one foot while lifting the other slightly off the ground and rotating the ankle.
If you do a lot of walking or standing on the job, keep two pairs of shoes at the office, one with a medium heel and one pair of flats -- then switch back and forth throughout the day. Each pair of shoes will require you to use a different set of foot muscles, so this way your whole foot will get exercise. (You'll also relieve the pressure that each pair may exert on different parts of your feet, helping to prevent calluses and corns and relieving bunion pain.)
However, make sure both pairs of shoes are comfortable, because a single hour of standing still in uncomfortable shoes can cause your feet more soreness than a full day's worth of walking in comfortable shoes.
If you stand in one spot throughout your workday, bring in a piece of carpet to stand on (standing on carpet helps to lessen the strain on foot and leg muscles). Periodically slip off your shoes, raise yourself up on tiptoe and come back down again, flex each foot, and wiggle your toes.
While you're standing for several hours, your feet can swell by as much as ten percent. So whenever you do finally get a chance to sit down, try to prop your feet up on something. Elevating them above the level of your hips, even if only for a little while, will help them return to their normal size.
And for even more soothing relief for your feet, try a foot massage. Learn all you need to know on the next page.
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