The American workforce is tough. Working Americans put in long hours and spend a significant portion of their lives on the job. Workers in Las Vegas can put in some especially tough days.
Increasingly this means people are either spending all day on their feet, or all day behind a desk. Neither option is a healthy balance for your body—or your feet—in the long run. If you work in a service industry, at an entertainment venue, on a construction team, in a school, at an office, or just about any other job in Las Vegas, chances are high your feet are feeling the effects of your prolonged sitting or standing.
How Standing Affects Feet and Ankles
Your feet and ankles are designed to handle heavy pressure and lots of use. Normally they distribute your body weight evenly from back to front. All of the bones, muscles, and connective tissues work together to balance weight and pressure correctly when you stand and walk. Your arches help with shock absorption, and your toes help propel you forward when you walk.
However tough they are, though, they do need breaks. Constant strain from extended hours standing or walking can lead to inflammation, pain, and overuse injuries in your lower limbs. Overused muscles and connectors become fatigued and achy. Pressure and gravity cause fluids to pool, leading to swelling. Extended standing contributes to weakened circulation as well, potentially causing varicose veins. Inflammation in the heel and the ball of your foot can contribute to plantar fasciitis, metatarsalgia, and other problems. For certain people, the constant pressure can even influence a bunion’s formation. The problems can extend up your legs and into your knees, hips, and back as well, contributing to chronic pain in those areas.
How Sitting Weakens Your Whole Body
Unfortunately, prolonged sitting isn’t any better—and in some cases, it can even be worse. When you spend extended periods of time seated, you aren’t putting direct pressure on your foot structures themselves. Over time, this can allow the muscles and connective tissues in your lower limbs to atrophy, becoming weaker and less effective at supporting you. Without weight and pressure, your bones will thin out and become less dense, too, further increasing your risk for injuries. Sitting also decreases the circulation to your legs, allowing blood to pool. This can cause varicose veins and contribute to other blood-flow problems, like peripheral arterial disease (PAD).
Worse, sitting is bad for your body overall. Extended periods of sitting slows your metabolism and increases your overall risk for heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and certain kinds of cancer. It can strain your back, neck, and shoulders as well. The more sedentary your life is, the less simple exercise will be enough to reverse the damage, too.
What You Can Do to Serve Your Working Feet
So if both standing for too long and sitting for too long are bad for your feet and your general health, what is left for working Americans to do? Well, investing in your foot care and taking steps to accommodate your lower limbs at your job can help. Wearing the appropriate shoes and supportive, cushioned orthotics can reduce pressure on your lower limbs from excessive standing. Exercises to strengthen your feet and ankles can help alleviate pain from being on your feet as well. If you spend most of your time sitting, you’ll need to find reasons to get up and move throughout the day. Make sure you walk, stretch, and use your lower limbs to improve your circulation and keep your feet strong.
Foot pain and lower limb weakness should not be a part of your workday. Dr. Noah Levine wants to help you take care of your working feet so they—and you—can be healthy and comfortable. Let our team work with you to find the best ways to make your job more foot-friendly and gain more pain-free days. Make an appointment with Las Vegas’ own Absolute Foot Care Specialists today. You can use our website or call (702) 839-2010 to reach us.