Hospitality workers’ jobs involve spending hours on their feet, which is not ideal, but is the reality and nature of the industry. On a long-hour shift, hospitality workers stand prolonged hours tending to people, lifting objects, and walking around their workplace to make sure they get the job done. The leg muscles are continuously activated to ensure you are in an upright position and supported to stand. Combine that with minimal movement will result in the joints becoming temporarily “stuck.”
With these conditions, workers suffer from occupational lower limb disorders including swelling, muscle fatigue and even the possibility of varicose veins. In this article, we will be discussing the diverse ways to avoid leg pain and injuries in the hospitality workplace.
1. WEAR THE RIGHT FOOTWEAR
It is reported that about 60-70% of people encounter foot problems due to the use of shoes that are not suitable for their job. Oftentimes, the hospitality industry has strict footwear requirements to avoid other injuries or accidents such as slips, trips, and falls.
Prolonged standing can cause pain, discomfort and swelling in your legs. The use of non-slip footwear and supportive insoles to provide extra cushioning to get you through the day, and to prevent other issues such as foot pain, muscle fatigue, as well as blisters.
ERGOPAD REDUX HEEL 2
The ErgoPad Redux Heel 2 is perfect for wearing inside shoes to help alleviate heel pain caused by prolonged standing.
ERGOPAD WEIGHTFLEX 2
The ErgoPad Weightflex 2 is thin and can easily slip into shoes. It uses a special three layer system to support the feet that also helps alleviate pain.
2. USE COMPRESSION
Compression is a beneficial form of therapy as it works to reduce excess fluids and swelling by applying pressure and gently massaging the veins in your legs and improves blood flow and prevents the development of varicose veins.
It is important to not mistake standard retail compression garment with proper medical grade compression. Compression socks, stockings, calf sleeves, are some of the products that can aid hospitality workers in their jobs. Compression products provide pressure to the leg muscles and the larger leg veins graduated up the leg at a medical grade. Muscle fatigue can be reduced when oxygen is distributed or delivered more efficiently, which compressions help with.
Prevention is important, which is why medical professionals advise the use of medical grade compression garments due to its numerous benefits. Hospitality workers who use compression have the advantage to withstand the long hours of standing on their feet without pain, which improves their overall job performance and avoids the risk of pain and discomfort particularly at the end of the day.
Venotrain Micro Thigh High Compression Stockings
Venotrain Cocoon Compression Socks
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3. BUILD STRENGTH
Medical professionals have observed that leg pain and other issues manifest in people who shifted from a sedentary job to a more physically active role. The body is therefore not used to the change in activities and the demand it requires of the body.
Strengthening the body with workouts that can condition you to withstand the working environment you are in is ideal. Incorporating weights in your exercises or workouts such as Pilates can be helpful in conditioning your body for everyday work through muscle toning and targeting the core. Considering many hospitality workers do not have the luxury of time, regular stretching and going on walks can help build energy and endurance, especially on your legs. Guiding your body to have the strength to go on with your daily work routine will make a positive difference in the long run.
4. MAKE STRETCHING A HABIT
Consistent light workouts, stretching before and after a long day of work is essential to body recovery and avoid swelling and pain. Stretches that involve the leg including the calf, and feet will make a dramatic difference in how your body will feel.
Putting your legs up the wall for 5-15 minutes a day can also help relieve tired legs and feet after standing all day and can even address lower back pain. It also helps drain tension and fluids that might have built up during the day. This in combination with medical graded compression socks will have a significant difference on leg health.
Given the usual working environment in the hospitality industry, it is vital that employees take preventative measures in ensuring that they maintain proper and good health. Using appropriate footwear, compression, staying active, and regular stretching can prevent pain and injuries. If you are experiencing persistent discomfort, be sure to check with a general practitioner.