Feet don't fail me now

June 3, 2008
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People often overlook the importance of healthy, comfortable feet until they experience foot problems. Unfortunately, problems that begin with the feet often spread and develop into other serious problems such as backaches, headaches, knee problems and more.

Not only do these problems translate into discomfort and pain for the individual, but they also translate into increased expenses for both the employee and employer due to lost work time, increased insurance premiums and medical costs as well as decreased productivity in the workplace. Keeping the feet healthy will help keep employees happier, healthier and working to their full potential.

Common foot problems at work
The constant pressure of working all day on a hard, unforgiving surface, such as a cement or tiled floor, can lead to a variety of foot problems including:
  • Bunions
  • Calluses and/or corns
  • Ingrown toenails (may also become infected)
  • Morton’s Neuroma (nerve damage on the ball of the foot)
  • Arthritis of the foot and/or ankle
  • Complications to diabetes (a diabetic’s feet are more prone to damage and take longer to heal)
  • Fallen arches
  • Athlete’s foot and other bacterial or fungal infections
  • Hammertoes
  • Heel pain
  • Sprains or strains
In addition, constant pressure and shock to the feet, left unchecked, travels up the body and may lead to deterioration of the ankle and/or knee joints as well as a misalignment of the spine, which may cause headaches and numerous other complications.

Relieving fatigue
Asking employees to wear ergonomic anti-fatigue insoles inside their shoes is a viable solution. Insoles naturally help to decrease lost work time due to foot and back problems that might otherwise develop over time. This is especially true for employees who stand or walk on hard floors for more than a few hours per day. Insoles also address foot fatigue problems for employees who work outdoors for all or any part of their workday.

Quality insoles are made of materials such as dual-layered memory foam that cushions each step and absorbs the shock caused from each step hitting the ground. Memory foam will gently compress and then rebound, working in unison with the foot and reducing the effects of the impact.

Each of your employees can simply provide his or her shoe size, and insoles can be ordered for your entire organization. Some employees may choose to purchase such insoles personally if the workplace does not provide them.

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