With the change of work spaces to home offices, most of us have also traded in our typical work shoes for something a little more cozy like socks, slippers or even bare feet. As a consequence, it has caused a number of people to suffer from sore, achy feet. – but why?
Each day typically starts the same: wake-up, pull yourself out of bed, get dressed for work, grab a quick breakfast (or pack a few snacks for the road), frantically try and find a matching pair of socks, put on your work shoes and head out to door to be at the office on time. This routine has drastically changed for most working individuals the past year and many people’s commute time has gone from 30+ minutes to simply walking down the hallway. But it is not only our working environment that has changed, we are beginning to see side effects of working from home on our feet.
Over the years, our feet have become accustom to being in socks and supportive footwear for the majority of the day. Now, with shoes being ditched for bare feet and socks being optional, many of us are struggling with sore, achy feet and legs. It is no wonder though when we begin to think about our feet going from 8+ hours of support to suddenly nothing, the intrinsic muscles in our feet are now being asked to do a lot more work and are struggling to keep up with the demand. If you are experiencing aches in your feet (and/or legs) the lack of supportive footwear may be the cause.
Here are our top 5 tips for helping relieve sore feet:
1 – Take a look at your current work environment – are you spending most of the day sitting? Do you stand for periods of time on hardwood (or worse tile) flooring? Are you getting up throughout the day for movement breaks? Being mindful about your working conditions can help you figure out what is the root cause of your pain and make choosing the proper treatment option easier.
2 – Invest in a quality pair of new ‘work’ shoes that are supportive yet comfortable and perhaps even slightly stylish! Whether that be a supportive slipper, a pair of sandals you can slip on when you are going to be standing or walking around, or a pair of runners you can throw on. Looking for footwear that is stable through the midsole, have a bit of a rocker, and are supportive throughout the arch will help you keep you comfortable all day long. Shop our favourite slippers by clicking here.
3 – Look into buying a pair (or two) of compression socks. You may ask yourself – compression socks? why? We have a major blood pump in our calf muscle, when we are active and moving this pump works to help move the blood (and fluids) from our toes up to our heart, if we are sitting for long periods of time (or standing in a static position) this pump may not work as efficiently, causing our feet to swell and legs to get tired and achy. Socks will not only help keep your toes warm and cozy but they can also improve your overall leg health. Contact us to book a complimentary compression sock fitting.
Tip: If you are spending blocks of time on your feet (30 minutes or more) consider putting on a pair of shoes to keep your feet, knees, and back healthy.
4 – Try adding some gentle movement into your work day. Whether that looks like adding an alarm to remind you to stand up every hour for a few minutes, following along with one of our office stretches, using a myofascial release tool to massage the bottom of your feet throughout the day, or perform a few gentle exercises to awake and stretch your feet (like ankle circles, knee flexes, and your favourite calf stretch).
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5 – Lastly, if you are struggling with sore feet and not sure where to start, booking an assessment with one of our Pedorthist is a great first step. At the assessment our Pedorthist will take the time to do a full gait analysis, observe a few functional movement tests and make recommendations based on what they find – whether that be footwear, over-the-counter insoles, stretches/exercises, or custom foot orthotics. Click here to book an appointment!
With home offices becoming the norm and sore feet on the rise, now is the perfect opportunity to invest in your feet. Let us help you Move Well, Be Well.
Written by Shayla McLean B.H.K – Footwear Specialist and Retail Manager