Workplace Safety – Is Your Job Killing Your Feet?
Foot injuries account for 10 per cent of all reported disabling injuries in the workplace in Canada. According to Canada’s National Occupational Health and Safety Resource, two out of every three workers in Canada suffer from some sort of foot problem in their lifetime. You could be at risk for foot injury if you have a job where you are on your feet all day and repeat the same action over and over. If you have this type of job and wear ill-fitting or unsupportive footwear it can lead to muscle and ligament fatigue, which could increase your risk of injury and damage to bones, joints, muscles, ligaments and other tissues of your feet.
Canadians working in jobs that require lengthy periods of standing can do very little to change the amount of time they spend on their feet during the working day. However, they can take precautions to help reduce the likelihood of injury. One of the best defenses is purchasing professionally-fitted, supportive footwear. Whether the job requires safety boots or dress shoes, purchasing correct fitting footwear with maximum support will dramatically decrease the chances of injury occurring.
For my patients who have to stand all day for their jobs, I help them select shoes with:
- a sturdy heel counter, which is the back of the shoe, that helps maintain the proper alignment of the heel
- a stable mid-sole that provides shock absorption and stability of the mid-foot
- laces because they offer more support than Velcro or slip on shoes
- a stiffer forefoot – you don’t want to be able to make a doughnut out of it
- low heels – lower than one inch
- and broad soles, as they will provide a more stable base of support.
To make sure your shoes continue providing good support it’s essential to replace workplace shoes and boots at least every six to 12 months. Pedorthists often create custom orthotics for patients at risk of workplace injury. Custom orthotics serve to properly align and cushion the feet and lower limbs, while making the patient’s day to day activities more comfortable.
Book a consultation with a Canadian Certified Pedorthist. The Pedorthist will recommend the best footwear for your workplace and foot type and will make sure it is fitted correctly.