Standing log hours can be very uncomfortable especially to the feet. When you stand too long, the tendency is the circulation on the feet is impaired causing the venous blood to remain static on the area. Standing too long may lead to pain and soreness on the muscles of the feet and legs. These reactions to standing too long can be normal; however, standing too long for persistent periods such as in workers that require standing too long may eventually lead to medical problems. These may include varicose veins, thrombophlebitis, deep vein thrombosis, back and neck problems, joint compression and postural muscle fatigue. Varicose veins, thrombophlebitis and deep vein thrombosis is usually a result of stasis of venous blood in the lower extremities leading to dilatation of the veins and formation of blood clots in the area.
When your job requires standing too long or you intend to join an activity that may require prolonged standing, you have to wear supportive and comfortable shoes. Avoid using high heels and unsupportive shoes because it may contribute to other problems such as bunions, calluses, and tendon and ligament strain.
If you tend to stand for too long and your legs become uncomfortable, you may do the following measures:
When you are already standing too long, try to find a chair, bench or wall. Grab the edges or place the palms of your hands against the wall and bend your knees like squatting. This measure stretches the bottom of your feet relieving spasms on the area.
• Do leg stretches
While you are standing, you can do leg stretches such as dorsiflexion of the foot and stretching the calf muscles. You can also perform active range of motion exercises of the legs in order to prevent venous stasis.
• Walk around
Instead of maintaining a single position, it is also best to walk around in order to exercises the legs and feet. If you need to maintain your position (such as when you are in a line) try marching in place.
• Frequently change position
While you are standing too long, you can change your standing position such as raising one leg for a while and repeat at other leg. In this way, your legs are relived from tension in carrying your weight.
• Raise your leg on a platform
Look for raised platform in the area. Raise one of your legs by placing it on the platform while the other leg is on the ground. Maintain the position for 15 seconds and do the same thing on the other leg. This improves the venous return from the legs and also relives back tension; thereby reducing postural problems.
• Wear supporting stockings
When you anticipate standing too long, wear an anti-embolic stocking to keep the circulation in your legs better and prevent venous stasis. Workers who frequently walk and stand such as medical practitioners and health care workers usually use anti-embolic stockings.
• Raise your legs when at home
When you are already at home, raise your legs on three pillows to aid in venous return and relieve edema of the legs and feet.
You may experience standing for prolonged periods some time in your life. It is important to know the techniques in order to prevent the harmful effects of maintaining a position for prolonged periods.