The day goes by and at the end of it, most of us realise that we have been standing for the massive chunk of the day.
Prolonged standing is a chief precursor to various health issues yet sometimes it goes brushed under the carpet and other times it’s a part of several jobs and thus becomes inevitable.
According to the Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety: Standing is a natural human posture and by itself poses no particular health hazard. However, working in a standing position regularly can cause sore feet, swelling of the legs, varicose veins, general muscular fatigue, low back pain, stiffness in the neck and shoulders, and other health problems. These are common complaints among salespeople, retail workers, machine operators, assembly-line workers, and others whose jobs require prolonged standing.
An added explanation for this can be given as; during prolonged standing, the weight is shifted on the lower back and further onto the knee joints posing added pressure on the muscles and ligaments. If you are not wearing proper shoes and the standing surface is harder it is going to make it worse. When this builds over time it causes soreness and inflammation of the leg muscles and feet.
Besides, it leads to decreased blood flow in the leg veins and eventually causes the blood to pool. If not checked, this further progresses to varicose veins in the legs wherein the veins become engorged and appear bluish-purple.
They are swollen and can be discomforting or painful. Also, prolonged standing can cause temporary immobilisation of joints of the lower part of the body.
Understanding it as a serious concern the combating strategies can help tremendously to take off that excessive burden from your feet.
Initiating with picking up the right shoes goes a long way. Shoes that provide proper cushioning and arch support for your feet are a worthwhile grab to take care of those aches.
Practicing various stretching leg exercises at the end of the day to help in easing off the pain and fatigued muscles.
The work environment should be flexible enough to provide switching between standing and sitting for workers even if that can be for a few minutes. Walk around, lean, and stretch to prevent the complications of prolonged effects from settling in.
As per a study published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); Interventions such as floor mats, shoe inserts, adjustable chairs, sit–stand workstations, and compression stockings have been used by employees to reduce the pain, discomfort, and fatigue from prolonged standing.
In reviewing the studies examining the effectiveness of interventions, the researchers have concluded that dynamic movement appeared to be the best solution for reducing the risk of these health problems due to prolonged standing.
So, why wait and remember to take your seat and do your work.
Dr Nisma Haris
The writer is a general physician, content creator