Whether you’re a barista, a production assistant, or are about to walk the floor of the NYSE, standing on your feet all day is an extremely draining task. Unfortunately, it’s one that a lot of us have to do every day for work. It’s a tiring, and often thankless part of the job. But does that mean we just have to deal with it?
With a few simple adjustments, standing on your feet all day can go from being a chore to being a cinch. You’ll find yourself with a stronger core, a stronger attitude, and a better mind open to new challenges. Check out our advice below, and start taking control of your backbreaking days again.
Start Your Day With a Reset: A Glass of Water
Waking up is hard. We’ll get to more of why it’s so important in a minute, but first let’s focus on what you do immediately after. Our advice? Drink water.
A tall glass of water immediately after you wake up puts you in prime position to start your day right. It kick starts your metabolism, refreshes your mind, hydrates your body, and helps flush toxins out of your kidneys. Even more than that wonderful, albeit dehydrating, cup of coffee you’re about to have, a glass of water to start is a must.
Wake Up With Time To Spare
If you’re about to be on your feet all day, the last thing you need is to be rushed into your work. Make sure that you give yourself time in the morning to prepare for your day—both physically and mentally.
The extra three times you hit the snooze button won’t actually make you feel less tired. Instead, get up, grab your glass of water, and get ready for the day at a leisurely pace. You’ll feel much more in control by the time you get to work, which will give you space to mentally prepare for your day.
Make Sure That You Eat a Full Meal
We all forget from time to time that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It’s how you start your day off on the right foot, rather than letting yourself feel annoyed and hungry by 9am.
When you have food in your belly, you’ll have more energy to burn, which will keep your mind focused on work rather than on filling back up.
Try to eat foods that are high in protein, but won’t bog you down—especially if you tend to have problems with wheat or dairy.
Don’t Count On Your Commute
Something almost always goes wrong when you’re depending on the commuter world. A train will be late, a lane will be closed, or a tire will pop. Sure, there are those days where it seems like the cars and crowds clear the way for you, but those come about as often as the chance to ride a unicorn to work.
Don’t count on your commute to be the time where you play catch up. Don’t leave your finishing touches for the car, or hope for it to provide those spare minutes you need before you start. Plan ahead, and leave yourself time to get to work before the exact minute you have to clock in.
Stretch Your Back and Legs
Be limber before you start. Getting to work early will also leave you time to stretch out and really prepare your body for that long shift ahead. There are all kinds of theories on what stretches work best, but this guide from MIT might be a helpful start.
If you have problems with your lower back, don’t forget to stretch your hamstrings: they’re linked more than you realize, and a good stretch will help to alleviate some of that extra pressure.
Remain Hydrated Throughout The Day
Just like that first glass of water flushes out toxins, it’s important to keep that flow going throughout the day. People often mistake thirst for hunger, but most of the time our body is really telling us it’s thirsty.
Keep a bottle of water with you on your shift, and you’ll be amazed at how regular hydration can keep your mind clear and body fit for the task!
Learn To Use Your Knees
Sometimes it’s not the being on your feet, but the tasks that you’re doing that can really take it out of you. If you have to bend down to constantly grab food, milk, or equipment, the bending can take a massive toll on your back.
If you’re not careful, a bad back will put you out of work fast. Which is why you need to take care to quite literally go through the motions: bend with your knees, not your back. While it’s certainly easier to give into old habits, train yourself to bend at your joints, and you’ll feel a major difference at the end of the day.
Perfect Your Posture
Likewise, it’s important that you not slouch while you’re standing. Your body will be looking for breaks any way it can get them, so your inclination might be to cave to those more “relaxing” positions. The truth is that it will ultimately weaken your core, and put undue stress on parts of your body that weren’t meant to handle it.
Do yourself a favor and keep up a good posture throughout!
When the day is dragging, that can be when you’re most aware of how hard being on your feet is. Make sure that you always have something you can be doing to keep your mind on your task. You know you need the work, so make sure you’re making the most of it, and not letting your mind get the best of you!
Know Your Limits
Finally, it’s important that you not exceed your own limits. If you overdo it, you’re going to put yourself out of commission, and then you won’t be able to be on your feet all day even if you want to!
Take care of yourself. Your full day of standing on the job may be tough, but you can power through it if you take the right measures.