Working from home means no longer having to wear uncomfortable shoes. But is that the best thing for your foot health? If you’re one of the many Americans working from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, you’ve likely ditched your workday shoes. Although that may be a welcome relief from uncomfortable professional footwear, working from home can present new potential foot health concerns. Here are some general guidelines on caring for your feet when you work from home.
Keeping Your Feet Healthy At HomeWith your feet tucked out of sight on Zoom calls, you’ll likely feel tempted to go barefoot for most of your work-from-home day; however, without supportive shoes, the muscles in your feet may get a bit overworked. That’s because the smaller muscles in your feet don’t get much of a workout when you wear shoes, but will when you’re barefoot. If you do experience some mild discomfort, slip on a pair of comfortable shoes — even slippers will do. Some people shouldn’t walk around barefoot at all. If you already have a foot condition such as plantar fasciitis, or intense heel pain, you’ll want the extra cushioning a pair of comfortable, supportive shoes provide. Avoid flat-soled footwear and wear shoes with a solid arch support to reduce heel pain. Wearing supportive shoes is also a good option if you’re standing most of the time while working from home. Rather than going barefoot, slip on a pair of running or tennis shoes to give your feet the extra layer of cushioning and support they need. During the winter months, remember to keep your feet warm — both indoors and outdoors. If your feet and toes tend to get cold easily, wearing shoes and socks prevents chilblains. Caused by extended exposure to cold temperatures, chilblains are inflamed patches of skin usually occurring on the feet or hands. If you have diabetes, you must be extra careful about your foot health — and that means protecting your feet with shoes at all times. Diabetes causes nerve damage that results in a loss of sensation in your feet, so you may not notice if you cut your foot while going barefoot around the house. An untreated wound could eventually lead to a serious infection or even amputation. Because of the pandemic, you may not be able to make regular visits to the gym or participate in your previous exercise routine. If that’s the case, roll or flex your ankles periodically to maintain their flexibility and strength as you sit at your desk. And if you do exercise, remember your feet aren’t getting the same daily workout they do when you walk around your office or go out to get lunch. If you run, for example, it’s especially important to stretch and warm up your feet before you hit the running trail to avoid an injury. And always wear a pair of shoes made for running. Working from home offers many benefits — and one of the main ones may be not having to wear shoes all day long. Your feet and toes aren’t pinched into tight-fitting footwear that could lead to bunions and calluses. But just because you don’t need to wear shoes doesn’t mean foot pain will disappear. Caring for your feet is critical whether you work in an office or at home.
Visit a Foot SpecialistAt Alamitos-Seal Beach Podiatry Group, we specialize in foot care. We have 35 years of experience in treating foot and ankle problems with the latest techniques. If you’re experiencing foot or ankle pain, contact our office for a consultation.
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