It’s that time again! While it feels like the Christmas decorations have already been in full swing for months in our local Westfield centres, it’s finally December and Christmas is almost upon us! If you work in retail, this means your hours may be ramped up massively – and you’ll be left facing the painful consequences on your tired, achy feet and legs.
So what can you start doing today to reduce the painful toll on your feet? Here are FIVE of our top tips!
1. Only wear shoes if they feel great!
Ladies, before we dive into the fashion vs. comfort talk, the good news is that these days you can find great-feeling, great-looking shoes that are absolutely work-appropriate. Yay! The people have spoken and the shoe manufacturers have listened and provided us with a number of options. We love the range from Frankie4 and Ziera. Better yet, they have built-in arch support too! There are plenty of other great brands around – just try them on, and if it feels like you’re walking on a cloud and your foot is supported, then you’re on to a winner.
From a podiatry perspective, you want to check that the shoe has good cushioning, that there’s nothing that is tight or that rubs, that it doesn’t have a significant heel height and that the footwear supports your arch and ankle.
2. Cushion hard floor surfaces
Retail store floors can be made from all sorts of materials these days. We’ve been noticing quite a few bare concrete floors in more boutique-style retail stores as they go for the minimalist and high-end feel. The upside? Trendy. The much more significant downside? Concrete is a tough surface for your feet, especially during long shifts. If this is you, we’d invest in a cushioned mat for behind the counter, or wherever you find yourself working often and is out of sight. If it decreases your soreness and increases your happiness (and hence service or productivity), your manager may be very much on board.
3. Take a moment to stretch
We know – pretty simple, right? Stretching is one of those things that everyone knows they should do, but few people actually do throughout the day – unless they’re exercising. Physiologically speaking, stretching gets the blood flowing, helps get the oxygen to your tissues, and gets the muscles working. When done regularly, you’ll be feeling better throughout the day, your muscles will be less stiff, sore and tired, and your future self will thank you!
4. Put your feet up
Now is the time where putting your feet up on the couch and breathing a deep sigh of relief is actually recommended! Elevating the feet helps reduce swelling, and when combined with a gentle massage, feels like pure bliss while you stretch out those muscles. If your feet are swollen, you can also try immersing them in cold water for 15 minutes. This will help to repair any damage from the day faster – and trust us, you’ll need it after being on your feet for so long.
5. Treat any pains immediately
Finally, and by no means the least important, if any pain develops, don’t hesitate to see your Podiatrist. Pain does not happen for no reason. It’s a sign that something is wrong and that damage is occurring. If you’re continuing to do these long shifts, we can almost guarantee that the pain will only get worse. The faster you treat a pain, the quicker your recovery and the better your overall outcome!
Here at Perform Podiatry, we’re not just about treating aches and pains but understanding why they occurred so we know how to stop them from coming back in the future. We see plenty of shift workers and retail workers suffering from these pains and it’s such a rewarding feeling to help them feel fantastic on their feet, not only over Christmas but all throughout the year!
We hope you have a very Merry Christmas with your families and stay safe and pain-free this summer! For any questions or to book an appointment, give us a call on 09 523 2333 or book online here.