Most of us are well informed about the signs and symptoms of COVID-19 and the importance of isolating to minimise the spread. However, we here in the clinic are identifying another symptom of the COVID-19 pandemic- the working-from-home foot (WFH foot).
What is it?
You may not be familiar with this new diagnosis but the WFH foot occurs when a person begins to experience pain in their feet (generally their heels and arches) first thing in the morning which develops from wearing slippers or being barefoot at home. With each of us abiding by restrictions to work from home, most people are generally rolling up to the home office in a pair of Uggs or slippers and then spending the majority of their day in these; performing work, zoom meetings, cooking, washing and other house duties with a shoe to little or no support.
What’s so bad about slippers?
Although comfortable, cosy and warm, slippers actually increase the amount of work the foot has to do. Without a strap or a lace, the arch and toe muscles work over time to make sure the shoe stays in its correct spot. Additionally, the leg muscles work to reduce the impact travelling into your joints and without a shoe often experience cramping and overload. If you multiply this over the course of a work week, the little muscles in our feet and legs fatigue and eventually crash and burn resulting in the WFH foot.
So, what can you do about it?
There is no need to fear the WFH foot as some simple strategies can often alleviate and get your feet and legs feeling tip top again!
- Start your day in the right way and put a pair of stable shoes on; something with laces or a strap or the shoe you would generally wear for work
-This will prepare your body and your mind for the day at work as well as reducing how hard your leg and feet muscles will work throughout the day
- Release any tension in the arch muscles by massaging your feet over a spiky ball at the end of your work day.
-We generally recommend doing this for 5 min at the end of a work day
- Ensure you have the correct desk setup for your home office so that no other muscles in your lower body are working overtime in an uncomfortable position; this in turn can affect the pain in our feet.
If you have any questions about your foot pain or you think you need some additional advice about your potential WFH foot or some recommendations on footwear, then please get in touch with me at [email protected]u