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Your body is built to stand. But that doesn’t mean working on your feet all day is easy or good for you. If you have a job that requires you to stand for long periods of time, it can be very hard on your back and legs, reports the Occupational Safety & Health Administration at the U.S. Department of Labor. Prolonged standing day in and day out could even lead to a serious injury. A 30-year-old woman, who works as a mail processing clerk at the U.S. Postal Service, filed for employee compensation in 2013 after developing a fractured left foot from standing on a cement floor during her shift. Her right foot also revealed in an X-ray to have a stress fracture at the base of the third metatarsal.
Modifying your workplace to make it safer for you—for example, the postal worker requested a rubber pad to stand on—can help mitigate pain and injuries. Also, it’s really important not to immediately take a seat—behind the wheel, at the dinner table and on the couch—when off the clock. To reconcile the difference between the two extremes (standing for hours, then sitting for hours), try to incorporate this short 15-minute workout from Pete Egoscue, Sonima.com’s alignment expert and author of multiple books including Pain Free. This routine will help you stretch and build strength so that you can stand up to the physical demands of the job and life.