NSC Labor Division news Ergonomics Research/studies Accommodations/food service

If your feet hurt from work, you’re not alone: survey


Photo: Juanmonino/iStockphoto

Berkeley, CA — A recent survey of workers who spend the majority of the day on their feet shows that nearly 2 out of 5 experience recurring pain.

Conducted on behalf of technology manufacturer Arris Composites, the survey involved more than 1,000 U.S. workers in industries in which they’re required to spend most of their workday on their feet. Findings show that, on average, the workers spend 56% of their time at work either standing or walking.

Consequently, 39% of respondents said they have recurring pain, mostly in their feet, spine/back, legs, neck and shoulders. Around 20% said their feet always hurt after leaving work. Additionally, 26% regret choosing a job for which they have to stand or walk frequently, and 27% are considering a career switch because of the physical toll.

Four types of food service workers reported the highest average percentage of time on their feet: dishwashers (98.9), restaurant cooks (98.1), waiters and waitresses (97.4), and food preparation and serving-related occupations (97.2). Cashier was the only other job category with a percentage above 90, at 94.9. Retail workers reported spending an average of 86.9% of their time on their feet, while industrial machinery mechanics followed at 84.4%.

Around 7 out of 10 of the workers said they’ve skipped exercising because of sore feet, and 58% said they’ve canceled social plans.

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