Happy Feet - how to support them as they support you

Standing up for your feet �€“ how to support them as they support you

The average person walks the equivalent of five times around the earth in a lifetime – a fact that is inevitably going to make your feet ache.nd if that wasn’t exhausting enough, here’s another corker to make you footsore in the comfort of your own armchair. Each step you take exerts up to two times your own body weight in ground reaction force through your lower limbs. So a trim 10 stone person has between 15 and 20 stone of impact going through the heel every time it strikes the ground.

‘Considering the distance covered, and the hazards feet are exposed to during a working lifetime, it is no wonder that working feet need care and attention if they are going to survive,’ said a spokesman for the Society of Chiropodists and Podiatrists.

It is thought that 75 to 80 per cent of the UK adult population has some form of foot problem, and more than 90 per cent will suffer from a foot problem at some point in their lives.

‘Many people put up with foot pain believing it to be normal,’ said the society spokesman. ‘But it’s not. If you have pain, it’s a clear indicator that something is wrong. You need to address the problem as soon as possible. Better still, keep your feet healthy so pain doesn’t occur in the first place.’

To keep your feet fit and flexible, try exercising them by circling your feet 10 times in each direction, keeping your legs as still as possible.

If you’re feeling particularly giddy, you could try circling the alphabet with your feet or pick up marbles with your toes. Yes, your children will thinkyou’ve lost your marbles, but you’ll be able to prove them wrong by clenching your toes.

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It’s a good idea to walk around bare-foot at home if you have safe, clean flooring, although it’s best avoided if you have diabetes or other systemic condition that can affect healing.

And while tripping around with your toes to the wind at work might be frowned on, you can still flex your feet up and down at your desk to help get your circulation moving.

‘This is all great advice,’ said the spokesman. ‘But the main issue to consider is your footwear. Healthy feet start with a healthy fit.’

Tips for getting the right fit

• Always have both feet measured – width and length – because they may not be the same size (and tend to get larger as you get older). And always try on both shoes.

• Ensure there is at least 1cm of space at the front of your shoes to allow natural movement and wiggle room for your toes.

• When choosing new shoes, take time to test them. Walk around the store and at home to test them for comfort. As long as you’ve not worn them outside and they still have their tags on, take them back if they hurt.

• You shouldn’t have to break in new shoes. If they hurt, they don’t fit well.

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