The Importance of Ergonomic Shoes: Prasanna S. Rao

The importance of Ergonomic shoes - Why is foot comfort important?

There is an old saying that goes, "when your feet hurt, you hurt all over."

Work-Related Foot Injuries
The first category are foot injuries from, get this: punctures, crushing, sprains and lacerations.
The second categories are injuries including those resulting from slips, trips and falls.
The above two categories account for about twenty five percent of all foot problems.
We haven't counted, calluses, ingrown toenails that result from non-ergonomic shoes, wrong size fit and extremely tired feet. Though they may not be officially called occupational injuries, they harm your health.

How Do You Know If Shoes Are Not Ergonomic?
Shoes those are not ergonomic for you, especially if your work requires you to stand for long hours:
High heels
Pointed shoes
Lack of arch support
Wrong sized shoe - too loose or tight.
Feet unable to breathe and as a result become overly sweaty which can cause fungal infections.

Ergonomic Shoes
Ergonomic Shoes are sophisticated these days. You can find specific shoes if you either stand a lot, or walk alot.If you stand a lot, you should find shoes with adequate arch support, otherwise you'll cause your foot to be misaligned - and become flat footed. This can also lead to rheumatism and arthritis.
If you walk a lot, and especially on very hard ground, you are putting too much pressure on your bones of your foot. You'll need more cushioned support. Obviously, there are shoes for specific work environments, especially if it is industrial. You'll have to protect your feet from burns, electric shocks, nails on the floor etc.

Tips on Buying Ergonomic Shoes
First, identify the potential hazards of your workplace. Consider factors such as the ground, potential sharp objects, and potential to slip etc.Then identify your needs. Do you stand for long periods at a time? Do you walk around frequently? Get your foot sized professionally. Also pay attention to the amount of arch you have in your foot. You can get addition foot support with a few foot inserts support accessories, like gel cushions etc.

Ergonomic Shoes Guidelines

How to know if your shoes are ergonomic for you
Good footwear should have the following qualities:
The inner side of the shoe must be straight from the heel to the end of the big toe.
The shoe must grip the heel firmly.
The forepart must allow freedom of movement for the toes.
The shoe must have a fastening across the instep to prevent the foot from slipping when walking.
The shoe must have a low, wide-based heel; flat shoes are recommended.

People buying footwear for work should take the following advice:
Do not expect that footwear which is too tight will stretch with wear.
Have both feet measured when buying shoes. Feet normally differ in size.
Buy shoes to fit the bigger foot.
Buy shoes late in the afternoon when feet are likely to be swollen to their maximum size.
Ask a doctor's advice if properly fitting shoes is not available.
Consider using shock-absorbing insoles where the job requires walking or standing on hard floors.
When selecting footwear, one should remember that tight socks or stockings can cramp the toes as much as poorly-fitted shoes. Wrinkled socks, or socks that are too large or too small, can cause blisters. White woolen or cotton socks may be recommended since colored socks cause skin allergies in some people.

Source: Prasanna S. Rao Technical Expert (Quality Assurance) Transformation Triggering Facility ETHIOPIA

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