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The Importance of Foot Health

20 July 2021

“Logic will get you from point A to B. But imagination will take you everywhere.” That is what the famed scientist Albert Einstein once said. But if there’s anything that literally takes us everywhere, every day it would be our own two feet.

Not just for mobility, our feet allow us to take on weight when we carry heavy things, gravity when we leap or jump, heights when we push our body upwards when we are rock climbing or mountain climbing. Every day, our feet carry hundreds of pounds of our body weight to take thousands and thousands of steps every day.

However, these two little parts of our body that take on all that weight are also the ones we fit into very narrow pointy pumps and even kitten heel stiletto just for aesthetic value. We at times kick things with reckless abandon when we are tired or upset.

The pressure on the feet of a person that is running can be up to four (4) times their weight. The feet account for 25% of the bones we have in our bodies. An average human adult foot has 26 bones, 33 joints, 19 muscles and tendons, and 107 ligaments in it. Yet this is also the part of our body that we take care of until it is hurting.

Our feet are also evolving to cater to our current lifestyle choices. Generally, feet are flatter and bigger in size at the end of the day. However, as we gain weight and pack on our bodies, our feet also spread and become flattered.

The College of Podiatry in the United Kingdom released the findings in their study regarding this in 2014. The average foot size is larger than they were in the 1970s. The average foot size then for men is size 7, now it has grown to an average size 9. That’s two sizes larger!

The problems that an average person would have with his feet also increases. Around 75% of Americans will have foot problems once or more in their lifetime. 60% of these are ankle sprains or any form of strain. It is approximated that 6% of the population has a foot injury, flat feet, bunions, or fallen arches every year. 

Aging also causes some pains in the feet, so regular care and proper footwear are needed. From the age of 30 and up, the collagen and elastin that make up the fat pads in our feet gradually become thinner. That is why even if we have no arthritis the feet will ache at the end of the day. From this age and up, it is recommended to buy shoes with thicker and softer padding so as to avoid these pains.

After the age of 45, people become more susceptible to osteoarthritis. Being the most common form of arthritis in the United States, it is estimated that around 20.7 million people are suffering from this. Smoking cigarettes also eventually cause problems in this part of the body. Peripheral Vascular Disease or the disease of the arteries of the legs and feet, causes painful walking, infection, and sometimes ulcers. 

If the case is very severe this illness causes gangrene and amputation. Problems with the feet can affect our quality of life and health, that is why it’s a good idea to start taking care of them.

We start taking care of our feet when we buy the proper pair of shoes. Remember that the balls of your foot should fit comfortably in the widest part of that particular footwear. The shoe must also have enough depth that the skin of your toes does not rub against the top leather parts. Remember when we were children and our parents made us walk when trying on a pair of shoes? That is correct. 

But additionally, the tip of our toes should have at least half an inch space to the tip of the shoe. As the feet get wider during the day, this space would allow the feet to grow wider without any pain. Lastly, make sure your foot is not slipping inside the shoes nor any part of the shoe rubs on your skin that would cause blisters when you walk far. We take around 80,000 to 10,000 steps each day and we can stay mobile if we keep comfort in mind.

Minimalist sneakers are a go for everyday walking. But if you are a woman in the office, needing to be in business or corporate attire, wearing heels is okay but only sparingly. Choose the ones with a broad base so that the ankle would have ample support. A 2 and a half-inch of heels increases the load on your forefoot by 75%. 

High heels change the natural position of the foot to the ankle so it is best to keep in mind when selecting your office footwear. The broader the heel, the more surface area between the shoe and the ground, which then equates to support for our ankles and feet.

The next thing we need to remember is to keep our feet clean and dry, especially after a bath or shower. This will prevent foot odor and other problems on the feet. For a day, the sweat glands on the feet create half a pint of perspiration.

 It is necessary to keep it dry and avoid excess moisture whether it be inside the shoes or the feet themselves. Skin softeners or lotion is best put on during the night before you sleep. When the feet are moisturized it will lessen the risk for corn and calluses. Callus shavers and foot peels are not recommended as this can cause serious damage to the foot. This is very important especially if you have poor circulation or suffering from diabetes.

At FlexiSpot, we care about the health of your feet. The Ergonomic Anti-Fatigue Mat DM1 was designed and created for people who are busy and always on the go. The thick cushioning is comfortable and designed to reduce gravity while you stand. This mat will help energize your tired feet, promote healthy blood circulation, and enhance physical and mental relaxation. As such, it promotes foot health for everyone. Get one now!