5 tips to help prevent achy feet on a long shift

Being on your feet for a 12-hour shift can take its toll – even if you’re a cheerful person. Achy feet are no joke, and when it gets bad enough, foot and ankle pain can make it hard to work as a care assistant or nurse.

If you need to spend lots of time on your feet, you might feel it in your feet, shins, calves, knees, thighs, hips and lower back. With that in mind, it’s important to give your feet a chance to rest.

We’ve come up with a list of five things you can do to keep pain at bay and stay comfortable all day.

1. Wear the right shoes

Feet swell the more you stay on them. So if you’re in the market for new shoes, try to shop for them later in the day when your feet are naturally slightly bigger. If you do that, you’re more likely to end up with a pair that feel comfortable all day.

Lace-up shoes are easier to adjust, so try on a few laced pairs. Loafers are also a good choice, but you might have less control over how they fit you.

Quick tip: Click here for a guide to comfortable work shoes for care professionals.

2. Add support

If your feet ache, you may need more support inside your shoes. You can boost your comfort levels with the right insoles – arch support, memory foam or gel, for instance.

Special performance insoles are designed for people who are on their feet all day. Orthotic insoles, for example, won’t go flat over time, and they’ll make your shoes feel much more comfortable.

Quick tip: Looking for better insoles? Check this selection out.

3. Stay clean

When you’re up and walking about on shift, your feet get warm and sweaty – and that’s the perfect environment for bacteria, fungal infections and other conditions to thrive in. So it’s important to wash your feet at the end of every day to make them less attractive to microorganisms.

Having two pairs of work shoes can make it easier to stay fresh and clean. You can rotate them to air them out between shifts – plus having two different pairs of shoes means you feet won’t be in contact with the same pressure points all the time, so they’ll feel better.

Quick tip: Why not pamper your feet with a foot spa? See highly rated models here

4. Use compression socks

Compression socks put pressure on your lower legs and help maintain good blood flow. They reduce discomfort and swelling if you have thread veins, varicose veins or fluid retention.

While they don’t directly heal achy feet, they do aid circulation, which helps muscle healing. And that can make it much easier to stay on your feet over time.

‍Quick tip: Check out this handy list of the best compression socks for nurses.

5. Keep healthy

There are lots of good reasons to lead a healthy lifestyle. If you keep fit and eat a balanced diet, you’ll feel more energetic, stay steady on your feet and won’t be as likely to injure yourself at work.

So, drink plenty of water and eat potassium-rich foods like bananas, avocados, pomegranate and spinach to stay hydrated and maintain a good electrolyte balance. Doing this will help keep your metabolism steady and prevent dehydration.

‍Quick tip: Need a water bottle for work? Click here for a fun selection of care-themed bottles.

Be kind to your feet

Taking care of your legs and feet can help boost your general wellbeing and prevent achiness and pain at the end of a long day. Your feet work hard for you, so don’t forget to pamper them in return.

If you do experience severe foot pain, it’s important to seek advice from a doctor. They might be able to address underlying health conditions and find ways to make you more comfortable.

Cheers to happy, healthy feet!

Florence can help you find flexible shifts near you, take essential training courses and improve your work-life balance. Find out more and sign up today.

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