If you stand a lot throughout the day, by the end of it, your legs can feel quite tired, fatigued, and heavy. Your feet feel sore, your legs swollen, your lower back hurts, and that stiffness and pain radiates all the way to your neck and shoulders. Any prolonged position can lead to strain and pain, but you can relieve it.
If you’re in a job that causes you to stand for prolonged periods of time, not only could you experience the above-listed symptoms, but you could be at risk for other health problems too. For example, the lack of movement causes pooling of blood in the legs, which causes inflammation of the veins which over time can contribute to varicose veins. Prolonged standing also puts stress on the joints, which over time may progress to rheumatic diseases.
In order to prevent such complications, here is how you can obtain relief from prolonged standing.
Workstation changes: For precision work, your station should be five centimeters above elbow height. For lighter work like mechanical assembly, your station should be five to 10 centimeters below your elbow height.
Position: When performing standing work, it’s important to be mindful of your position. You should always be facing your work and have enough room to change positions. Using a foot rail or portable footrest allows body weight to be shifted between each foot. Also, try to sit throughout your shift when possible and avoid over-reaching.
Footwear: Wearing proper shoes can go a long way in preventing symptoms related to prolonged standing. Ensure you’re wearing supportive footwear that allows room for your feet to move and breath, that are made with a breathable material, that use laces to be tightened without a drastic heel height, and that offer overall support and are non-slip.
Surface: What you stand on also impacts how your legs feel. Wood, cork, or rubber floors are better than metal or concrete as they offer more cushion.
By considering these factors and making the proper adjustments to your standing, you can reduce the pain and fatigue you experience. The biggest key is to try and change positions as often as possible.
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