Would you believe that the National Safety Council reports that there is an average of 180,000 foot injuries on the job each year? At Superior Foot & Ankle Care Center we want our patients to be proactive about the health of their feet at all times. Most patients spend a large percentage of their waking hours at work yet don’t give much thought to the health and safety of their feet in the workplace setting. Preventive health care for your feet at work falls into two categories: injury and overuse.
Injury to your feet on the job can come about as a result of the materials you are working with or the site of your work. Construction workers and those who work at sites where there is much debris and loose rock or other material on the ground need properly fitting shoes or work boots to support feet and ankles and minimize the risk of falls and ankle sprains. Another statistic from the National Safety Council showed that of the workers who suffered a job-related foot injury only about 25% were wearing protective footwear. Work boots with hard toe boxes protect against tools and heavy items being dropped on them. If you work with hazardous materials, chemicals or liquids at high temperatures you will want to take the proper precautions to protect your feet as well as the rest of your body.
If you wear work boots every day you may find it beneficial to have a second pair to trade off with to prevent repetitive stress to the same areas of your feet and to minimize the risk of athlete’s foot and other fungal infections that can breed in dark, sweaty boots. A day to air out between airings can reduce this risk significantly.
The second source of workplace stress on the feet is overuse. Jobs that require long hours of standing or a significant amount of bending or climbing put stress on your feet. Be sure to take breaks throughout the day and elevate your feet (if you can’t do at work be sure to do when you get home) to reduce swelling. Many conditions are caused or made worse by standing for long periods of time. You will want to take the time to have the shoes you wear for work professionally fitted and be sure they are of high quality and provide good arch support and cushioning where needed.
Our podiatrists, Dr. Victoria Foley and Dr. Constance Omelas can make specific recommendations for appropriate footwear for you based on your foot condition and the work you do. Don’t hesitate to contact us for a consultation with the podiatrist at our Long Beach office by calling: (562) 420-9800. After a hard day’s work, your feet will thank you!