Prolonged standing is a common requirement for certain employees, including salespeople, machine operators, and assembly-line workers. And, while standing is a natural human activity, it can lead to serious health issues if performed in excess.
Most often, prolonged standing contributes to sore feet, leg swelling, varicose veins, general muscular fatigue, lower back pain, and neck and shoulder stiffness.
This is because keeping the body upright for long periods of time requires substantial muscular effort. Additionally, when you stand, you are effectively reducing the supply of blood to strained muscles.
If standing at length is a requirement of your job, it’s critical to know some preventive tactics that can help reduce the risk of injury.
The following are eight strategies you can implement today in order to work in a standing position safely:
- Change your working position often, shifting your weight to help reduce the time spent straining one muscle group.
- Avoid sudden or drastic movements,such as bending and twisting, whenever possible.
- Pace yourself so that you do not overexert yourself as you work.
- Take breaks often in order to rest your muscles. It may also be a good idea to stretch during this time.
- Adjust tables or workstations in a way that is comfortable for your style of work.
- Keep your workstation clean and organized so there’s room to move around and so you don’t have to reach for important items.
- Wear comfortable shoes and utilize anti-fatigue mats. These can help reduce the strain on your feet and legs.
- Sit down whenever possible in order to give your entire body a rest.
If you’re still concerned about prolonged standing, consult your manager. He or she can offer you additional training and suggestions for workplace design improvements.
Real Life Case Study
Matt is an assembly-line worker at an Atlanta-based factory. He spends the majority of his day on his feet, inspecting products and ensuring they meet company standards.
Lately, Matt had been experiencing sore feet and swollen legs as the result of prolonged standing.
It had gotten so bad that the pain was affecting his daily work, and he was unable to perform basic tasks that were assigned to him.
After consulting with his manager, Matt was instructed to utilize anti-fatigue mats and shock-absorbent footwear to lessen the strain on his legs.
Additionally, Matt was given a new work station that better accommodated his height and movements. His manager even allowed him to use a chair during breaks.
And, because Matt approached his manager with his concerns, mandatory stretching periods were added to the schedule for all assembly-line workers.