You’re on your feet all day for work. Even lunches and breaks (when and if you take them) are spent standing. By the end of the day, your back and shoulders feel as if you’ve been carrying a mule uphill.
The pain is made worse by your choice in footwear. Unfortunately, the most fashionable shoes are usually the most uncomfortable and can do a number on your knees, hips and back.
So, what can you do about it?
Here are some tips to help you get through the day pain-free:
- Every day, walk or move your body in some way for 10-15 minutes.
- Stand on a safety mat, or a floor made of wood, rubber or cork, instead of concrete or metal.
- Keep your knees slightly bent while standing. Do not lock them.
- Keep your body weight mostly on the front part of the foot.
- Shift your position constantly. Don’t stand in one place for long.
- Stand up straight, shoulders back.
- Practice postural exercises.
The following three exercises from Better Homes and Garden are simple enough to do every day and will make a remarkable difference in your posture.
This subtle move counteracts neck-craning. Bring your teeth gently together and slowly, softly glide your head backward — 1/4 to 1 inch — without tilting it, until you feel mild tension. Keep your shoulders relaxed. Hold for 5-10 seconds. Repeat two more times.
Extend your arms out and up to about shoulder height, bent at elbows with palms pointing up. Squeeze your shoulder blades together. You should feel a stretch along your chest and the front of your shoulders. Hold for 5 seconds. Repeat 5 times. If you feel sharp pain, ease off until you feel only mild tension. If this hurts, hold your arms a bit lower; after doing this exercise a few weeks, gradually raise them.
This technique trains your pelvis to support your spine. Stand using good posture. Relax your hips and let your buttocks protrude somewhat. Place thumbs on lower ribs and fingers on hip bones. Tuck your buttocks under, so your hip bones line up under your lower ribs. Hold for 5 seconds, then repeat at least three times.