What about workplace footwear?
Foot injuries account for 10% of all reported disabling injuries in the workplace in Canada. According to Canada’s National Occupational Health and Safety Resource, 2 out of every 3 workers in Canada suffer from some sort of foot problem in their lifetime.
Some professions are at a higher risk for disabling foot injuries due to the physical demands of their job and mandatory footwear requirements including:
- construction workers
- factory workers
- police officers
- sales clerks
Long periods of standing, repetitive motions, improper foot alignment and improper footwear can lead to muscle and ligament fatigue which increases the risk of injury and damage to bones, joints, muscles, ligaments and other tissues of the feet. The resulting inflammation and abnormal wear and tear can lead to conditions such as Plantar Fasciitis (heel pain), Metatarsalgia (pain at the forefoot) and Repetitive Strain Injury.
Pedorthic pointers to help workers avoid common foot problems:
- When purchasing shoes, select a stable shoe with a sturdy heel counter (the back of the shoe that controls motion) and stable midsoles that provide shock absorption.
- Purchase lower heels and broad soles to provide a more stable base of support.
- Look for lace-up shoes as they offer more support than Velcro or slip-on shoes. Fully lace your shoes/boots every time you put them on to maximize support.
- Replace workplace shoes and boots at least every 6 – 12 months or when your body first starts showing signs of fatigue.
- If a foot injury occurs, seek help from a physician. Don’t let a small problem turn into a big problem.
- Consult with a Canadian Certified Pedorthist for specific recommendations for your workplace and foot type.