Healthy Feet, Happy Work: A Podiatrist’s Guide to Workplace Foot Care

Your feet are the workhorses of your body, and especially so if your job requires you to be on your feet all day. They endure tremendous stress, absorbing up to three times your body weight and traveling incredible distances – over 20 kilometers in a single workday!

Common Workplace Foot Problems:

Unfortunately, this constant pounding can lead to a variety of foot problems, including:

  1. Stress fractures: Tiny cracks in the bones caused by repetitive stress.
  2. Sprains and strains: Overstretched or torn ligaments or muscles.
  3. Corns and calluses: Thickened areas of skin caused by friction.
  4. Ingrown toenails: Painful ingrowth of the nail edge into the skin.
  5. Tinea (athlete’s foot): Fungal infection causing itching, burning, and scaling.

Workplace Hazards:

Your work environment can also contribute to foot problems. Here are some potential risks:

  1. Slippery surfaces: Oil, water, and other spills can increase the risk of slips and falls.
  2. Extreme temperatures: Cold or hot conditions can cause discomfort and even injury.
  3. Falling objects: Heavy objects dropped from above can cause serious damage.

Protecting Your Feet at Work:

Here are some essential tips for keeping your feet healthy and happy at work:

  • Stretch it out: Take short breaks throughout the day to stretch and loosen tight muscles.
  • Shoe and Insoles matters: Choose well-fitting shoes with proper arch support, comfortable insoles, and lower heels. Steel-toe boots may be mandatory depending on your workplace.
  • Foot care at home: Wash your feet daily, inspect them for any concerns, and trim toenails properly.
  • Change positions: Avoid standing or sitting for extended periods. Move around to keep your muscles active.
  • RICE it up: If you experience a foot injury, remember the R.I.C.E. method: Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.


How a Podiatrist Can Help:

Podiatrists are foot and ankle specialists who can diagnose and treat a wide range of foot problems. They can help you:

  • Prevent foot problems: Podiatrists can provide advice on proper footwear, foot care routines, and stretching exercises.
  • Treat existing conditions: They can offer treatment options for common foot problems like ingrown toenails, corns, and calluses.
  • Perform ingrown toenail surgery: They can offer treatment options to removal painful ingrown toenail problems in the clinic.
  • Prescription Insoles/Arch Support: They can use a 3D scanner and provide the best arch support to fit into your current work shoes.
  • Manage chronic conditions: Podiatrists play a crucial role in managing foot complications associated with diabetes.

Remember, healthy feet are essential for a healthy and productive work life. Don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with your podiatrist for any foot concerns.


Reference: Australian Podiatry Association. “Feet At Work Presentation”