While standing is more desired than prolonged sitting, standing for longer periods may also have its drawbacks. Prolonged standing, just like prolonged sitting, may lead to circulation problems, legs pains, posture problems and muscle aches. Those who stand for longer periods of time may experience varicose veins, blood clots, back pain, poor posture, and even higher chances for heart attack and stroke due to poor circulation in the legs that may lead to dangerous blood clots.
Prolonged standing should be avoided all throughout to prevent negative effects; however, if your work requires you to stand longer, there are simple ways to employ to prevent the negative effects. These measures include:
- Wear anti embolic stockings
Poor circulation in the legs is one of the most common effects of prolonged standing. Wearing anti embolic stockings ensures better venous return from the legs to prevent varicosities, spider veins, thrombosis and leg edema. Anti embolic stockings provide adequate pressure on the legs to maintain the adequate and excellent blood flow in the lower extremities.
- Use supportive shoes
If you are expecting to stand for longer hours, be sure to wear supportive footwear such as rubber shoes and flat shoes with excellent fit to prevent foot injuries. Never use shoes with high heels as well as shoes with small space on the toe area as this may strain your feet more. High heels can lead to back pains since the back muscles contract more to ensure balance.
- Use lumbar support belts
You can also opt to use lumbar support belts to support the lower back area while you stand.
- Walk around frequently
Staying in one position for long periods can add to the negative effects of prolonged standing. In this line, it is always best to walk around frequently or every hour to maintain adequate circulation in the feet. Walking after some time of standing also lifts the weight off the feet, knees, hips and back allowing better ergonomics and preventing overuse injury on the soft tissues around the weight bearing joints.
- Elevate one foot on a beam
If you are standing for prolonged periods, it is also nice to lift off the weight on the feet one at a time. Look for a low rise beam around you and place one foot on top while standing to allow the knees to flex and reduce the weight on the joint. Do it alternately on both feet. If you can’t see a beam around you, you can lift one foot off the ground instead and balance with one foot.
- Never cross your legs
When standing for longer hours, make sure not to cross your legs while standing as this may aggravate poor circulation on the lower extremities.
- Do some stretches
You can also perform some simple leg stretches while standing to improve circulation and well-being of the limbs.
These measures are some of the most effective ways to prevent the negative effects of prolonged standing. Alternatively, you can always choose not to stand for longer hours by taking some rest.