Your health: Be sweet to your feet
By Diana Seufert, MSN, RN, NP, manager of the Occupational Health Service
|Diana Seufert, MSN, RN, NP,
people don't think much about their feet unless they start to hurt,
but the health of your feet is important. Day in and day out, your
feet carry the weight of your body just by standing, let alone by
walking or running. The distance you travel also affects your feet.
According to the American Podiatric Medical Association, the average
person walks over 8,000 steps a day. This can add up to 115,000
miles in a lifetime—the equivalent of walking around the Earth
It's not surprising then that 75 percent of Americans experience
foot problems. They can be caused by injuries, like sprains, or
illnesses, like diabetes and arthritis. However, many foot ailments
are due to wearing poor fitting or poorly designed shoes.
Here are some tips for choosing the right shoe:
- Purchase shoes wide enough to wiggle your toes and long enough
to have a slight space at the end of the longest toe when standing
- Select a shoe that fits the shape of your foot.
- Feet swell toward the end of the day, so purchase shoes to accommodate
- Buy shoes to fit your bigger foot.
- Don't select shoes only by the marked size, since size depends
on brand and style.
- Don't buy shoes that are too tight and hope they will stretch.
- Shoe soles should be strong and flexible with a good gripping
- Don't wear high heels for long periods of time, as they cause
changes in body posture, making backaches and foot pain more likely.
- Make sure shoes have good arch supports and cushioned insoles
to help distribute weight and absorb the jolts of walking on hard
- Make sure the heel and instep fit well—the heel should
not slip and the instep should not gape.
- Choose the proper shoe for the proper activity to protect both
feet and ankles.
- Discard shoes that are worn and beyond their useful life.
For a list of suggested shoe types and brands, visit www.apma.org/seal/sealaccategory.html#FOOTWEAR.