Don't Suffer in 'Vein': Health Hacks for Happy Legs & Feet

You deserve a break… and so do your feet.

We’ve all heard that sitting at a desk for most of the day is bad for your health. But did you know that standing for most of the day could be just as dangerous? Working in positions that require lots of standing can cause sore feet, swelling, varicose veins, stiffness throughout your body and other health issues.

People in positions such as nursing, teaching, retail and other positions that require standing for long hours are susceptible to potential health issues associated with standing for too long throughout the day.

I Would Walk 500 Miles...

Healthcare - On average, nurses walk four to five miles per 12-hour shift. To put that into perspective, most Americans walk just two to three miles over an 18-hour day. Nurses already do a lot to keep their patients healthy, and in doing so, they could be putting themselves at risk.

Education - From chasing after children to delivering engaging lessons, teachers are on their feet for more than even they may realize. Statistically, teachers spend roughly three quarters of their day standing or walking – 23% more than the national average.

Service - Retail and food service personnel are amongst the top of the list for occupations that require the most standing, spending roughly 89% of their day on their feet.

We can’t always change the nature of our jobs since some positions are just inherently more prone to excess standing, but we can do things to help ease the situation.

Here are some health hacks to help you get back on your feet:

Ditch the heels.

Wearing the right shoes is so important for the health of your entire body – save your high heels for special occasions. There are plenty of comfy, fashionable options available to maintain your personal style, while also protecting your health.

Stretch it out.

Simple stretches, like calf raises, can help keep your muscles from becoming stiff throughout the day.

Pamper your feet at home.

After a long day of work, let your feet recover and prepare for tomorrow. Icing and elevation can help combat swelling, and massaging can help loosen the muscle and joints.

Find the right fit.

This one seems like a no-brainer, but many people wear shoes that are too small or too big. Your toes love to wiggle, so let them! While your toes need room to move around, your heel needs to be kept secure. Choose shoes with good arch support and that do not change the natural shape of your foot.

Posture, posture, posture.

Keep your back straight and your head up so your shoulders are not slouched, walk from heel to toe, without plunking down your feet.

Switch it up.

Alternate positions throughout the day to move your weight around.

Soften your landing.

Many workplaces have metal or concrete flooring that can be hard on our legs. If you have a designated workstation, cover the ground with a non-slip mat.

If standing for long periods of time is causing you pain or discomfort, you can and should seek help from a vein specialist at the Harbin Clinic Vein Center. Vein issues don’t come with a timeline – they can happen to anyone despite age or fitness levels.

Don’t put up with your discomfort any longer. Schedule an appointment with one of Harbin Clinic’s board-certified vascular surgeons to learn about diagnosis and treatment options that are best for you.