Tips for shop workers

Small business insight

1 January 2018

A lot of people spend much of their working day standing on their feet at work in shops, and over long periods of time this can be hard on your body.

Yet working on your feet can be good for you if you move around a lot and sit down regularly.

Follow these simple precautions to strike a good balance, stay healthy on your feet, and keep you and your business on its toes.

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Sit down regularly

Sitting not only rests your working muscles, it improves your circulation, so you don’t get tired as quickly. Make sure you sit down for five or ten minutes every couple of hours – build it into your routine, either in your breaks or when doing your paperwork.

Move and stretch

You need to move around while you are on your feet. If it’s difficult to do this while working, take a walk during your break. Try stretching your back and legs to relieve any muscle tension that has built up.

Wear comfortable shoes

Make sure you wear good shoes with some cushioning to protect your feet and back from the impact of being on your feet all day.

Podiatrist Christine Dobrowolski recommends looking for “shoes that won’t collapse when you squeeze them. Grab your shoe by the toe and the heel, then try to twist it and fold it in half. It should only flex in the toe area and where the foot naturally bends. If you can fold the shoe completely, don’t buy it.”

Change your shoes every other day – or even during the day – to vary the pressure points and support of your feet. Investing in good socks can also make a difference.

Organise your workspace

Look at the routine jobs you do. Is there anything you could change or move to make those tasks less strenuous? Make sure your most frequent tasks can be done within easy reach.

Don’t bend too much

Your body is already working hard when you are standing up. Don’t add to this by bending or twisting if you can avoid it.

Ease yourself in

If you’ve been away from work for a long period, standing a lot can be a shock to your system, so ensure you placing too much strain on your feet in your first weeks back.

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