Cases of plantar fasciitis are increasing in the workplace. Here’s what to do about it!

Are you finding that more and more of your employees are taking time off work to recover from foot-related conditions?

You’re not alone.

Many of the businesses we’ve encountered over the years have shared their concerns over what appears to be a plantar fasciitis epidemic. Directors, managers and even employees themselves have told us that plantar fasciitis is having a profound effect not only on staff wellbeing, but also team productivity – and, ultimately, their company’s profits.

Here, we’ve put together a quick guide to dealing with cases of plantar fasciitis in the workplace and outlined some of the steps you should be taking to prevent foot pain from wreaking havoc within your organisation.

How can plantar fasciitis affect your employees?

Mild cases of plantar fasciitis may not have much of an impact on your employees, as they will often clear up on their own. The problem comes when staff need to take prolonged periods of time off work because their symptoms have worsened. As you can imagine, this can have an adverse effect on productivity.

Most people, even office workers, need to be mobile to complete their daily tasks. People in particularly active roles, such as those within the hospitality and retail sectors, rely on their feet to keep them working. In fact, according to a recent study by the American Council on Exercise (ACE), many employees in these industries can be walking for 15,000 steps a day a more, and this amount of exercise will be placing undeniable strain on the ligaments that run between their heels and their toes. It’s these ligaments that can become worn and inflamed, leading to the pain we typically associate with plantar fasciitis.

If a member of staff finds it too painful to walk because they have developed a particularly nasty case of plantar fasciitis, they will be unable to work – and they will be signed off sick.

Why should employers be concerned about the rise of plantar fasciitis?

Even though a person’s occupation is only one factor when it comes to determining their risk of developing plantar fasciitis, it is actually classed as a ‘work-related disease’ – which means responsible employers need to take action to combat its effects and ensure they are meeting their workplace safety obligations.

If you don’t do your bit to combat the rise in cases of plantar fasciitis, you could find that your staff are taking days, weeks or even months off work to recover from the pain and inflammation caused by the condition – and this means a big dent in your business’ productivity.

How can you prevent cases of plantar fasciitis in your workplace?

It’s all too easy to forget the strain that ongoing physical activity is having on your staff when deadlines need to be met, and money needs to be made. But to avoid unnecessary absences and ensure the physical wellbeing of your teams, you need to take steps now to combat the potentially debilitating effects of plantar fasciitis.

The key is to educate your staff on how they can either prevent the condition from developing in the first place – or manage its symptoms post-diagnosis.

In the first instance, you can encourage staff to take regular breaks if they know they’re going to be standing or walking for much of their shift. But this will only go some way to preventing foot pain. If you really want to keep plantar fasciitis at bay, you need to invest in comfortable, supportive footwear for your teams. This will provide enhanced cushioning to the areas of the feet that are often prone to wear and tear, like the arches and the heel.

OrthoSole insoles – the effective, cost-efficient solution

We appreciate that these kinds of specialist work shoes can be expensive. If your budget doesn’t stretch to kitting out each member of staff in state-of-the-art supportive footwear, don’t panic. We have developed a range of orthotic insoles that are completely customisable and can be inserted into virtually any kind of footwear to provide enhanced support straightaway. Best of all, these insoles can be distributed to your workforce at a nominal cost of just 6p to 7p per employee, per day.

Learn more about the incredible impact that OrthoSole insoles are having in workplaces around the world, or click through to our store to shop our product range online.

Corporate enquiries are welcome. Just get in touch with our team directly and we’ll happily answer your queries and arrange an onsite product demonstration.