10 Things You Must Do If You Stand All Day for Work
Do you have a job that requires you to remain in standing position for 5 to 8 hours each day? If so, then you already know that this can place strain on the body. If you’re ever gotten home and realized that your feet and legs were swelling, or that your back was hurting, this is likely the result of standing all day for work. If you are required to stand all day at your place of employment, don’t miss these 10 things you must do if you stand all day for work.
What happens when you stand all day?
When you stand all day for work, gravity is working against you. While gravity keeps us anchored to the ground, it also pushes down on other things in the body, compressing the spine, shifting organs downward, and contributing to poor circulation. Standing all day is hard on the body. You may have already realized that after a long day of standing, your legs and feet can become swollen and fatigued, or your back may begin to hurt. This is because your body is being strained by remaining in an upright position for a long duration of time. This can affect different organs and systems in your body, ranging from the lymphatic system to the skeletal system.
#1. Wear the right shoes.
To help support your body while standing, it’s important that you wear the right shoes. This doesn’t necessarily mean choosing the most expensive orthopedic shoes you can find—instead, it means wearing shoes that are comfortable to your foot and that you know can provide you with 5 to 8 hours of comfort.
Select shoes that don’t change the shape of your foot.
It’s important to choose shoes that aren’t vastly changing the shape of your foot by pinching, narrowing, or squeezing any part of your foot.
Shoes that don’t modify your arch too much or are too flat.
Select shoes that don’t over-pronounce your arch, or are too flat to provide any support. The perfect shoe is already contoured to the shape of your foot by preventing other muscles in your legs and body from having to compensate for poor support.
#2. Make sure your workspace is ergonomic.
An ergonomic workspace is an efficient workspace. A workspace becomes more efficient when your body is completely supported to carry out your work tasks as easily as possible. This means minimizing extra movements like reaching, bending, leaning, or moving.
Don’t keep items more than 15 centimeters out of reach.
Efficiency and comfort are both decreased when you have to reach for objects that you work with. Ensure that everything is comfortably within reach.
Refrain from twisting at the torso when possible.
If standing stationary is part of your job, try to keep from twisting at the torso when reaching and grabbing objects. Instead, turn your entire body (using your feet) to face whatever direction you’re trying to reach.
#3. Don’t stand on metal or concrete.
If possible, don’t stand on metal or concrete surfaces for prolonged periods of time while you work.
Stand on rubber, cork, or wooden floors.
Rubber, cork, and wooden floors are all excellent choices to stand on, as they absorb shock and support your bones and joints.
Use an anti-fatigue mat (rubber, carpeting materials, vinyl, wood).
If you can’t stand on a rubber, cork, or wooden floor, ask for an anti-fatigue mat that is made out of a softer material to help soften the surface you’re standing on. Even if you’re standing stationary at work, this will help absorb wear and tear on your joints.
#4. Change your standing position often.
Even if you’re standing stationary, do your best to change your standing position often. You don’t need to be constantly moving or shuffling, but changing your position periodically helps to redistribute your body’s weight and support healthful circulation.
Shift your weight from side to side.
Shift your weight from side to side, ensuring that one foot and side of your body isn’t always bearing the majority of your body’s weight.
Have a nearby footrest.
Ask for a stool or footrest to keep nearby. When possible, use the footrest to alternately rest one foot or the other.
#5. Take regular breaks.
Every workplace has its own guidelines for breaks. Ensure that you are receiving your breaks regularly, and try to get off your feet when possible.
Practice small stretches.
Whether on your break or in place, practice small stretches that allow you to boost circulation and refresh muscles that may be tightening.
Have a place to sit, when possible.
If possible, ask for a stool to sit or lean against when possible. If your entire shift is made up of standing time, ask if you can place seating nearby or at your station to be used when you need it.
#6. Work at the right pace.
Try to be conscious of when you are rushing or moving quickly, which can cause additional strain on the muscles and joints.
Take your time.
Whatever your task is, take your time to be sure to prevent injuries or accidents, as well as additional strain on your body.
Know your limits.
If you feel that you can no longer stand, ask for a break or request a chair. While your body can become accustomed to the feeling of standing, that doesn’t mean that it isn’t straining your body. Be sensitive to your body’s needs and know your limits.
Don’t delay breaks.
If you are given the option to receive a break and you’ve already been standing for hours, take it without delay. Sitting, even briefly, can help your body recover from the stress of standing.
#7. Roll your feet out at home.
When you arrive home, roll your feet! This can be done with either a tennis ball or a specially designed cork or stress ball. While sitting, place your foot on top of the ball (which is placed on the floor). Roll your foot forwards and backwards, easing tension out of the arch, ball of your foot, and toes.
#8. Invert your body after work.
If possible, invert your body after a day full of standing. This helps to reverse some of the downward pressure exerted by gravity on your body over the course of your day.
Legs up against a wall.
A simple inversion is to lay in a 90 degree angle against a wall with your feet above your hips. Start slowly with this inversion (no more than a few minutes), building up by a minute or two every day.
Handstands and headstands.
If possible, practice inversion in the form of headstands, handstands, elbow stands, or other self supported inversions. Inversion tables and inversion tools are also helpful ways to get upside-down and counteract the gravitational effects from a day of standing.
#9. Practice strength training and stretching.
One of the best ways to support your standing job is by practicing strength training and stretching. The combination of these activities will help to strengthen your muscles and ensure that your body can support itself comfortably for long periods of standing time. Stretching will support your strength training and keep your body limber and mobile.
#10. See a chiropractor regularly.
Chiropractors are experts of the nerves, muscles, and skeletal system. Each of those components of the body are strained during long periods of standing, and can benefit from chiropractic treatment.
At Advanced Spine and Posture Las Vegas North, we use Chiropractic BioPhysics® to create long-term changes in the shape of the spine where misalignment is present, and provide traditional adjustments to help support health . If you’re struggling with back pain or neck pain and looking for a back pain expert in North Las Vegas, it’s time to book your appointment.