Teaching can be tremendously rewarding for the people who take on this often difficult job, it can also be physically demanding and mentally exhausting. Because May 7th is Thank a Teacher Day, we’d like to take this opportunity to show our appreciation to all the teachers out there who work so hard to educate our children. Today, we’re expressing our sincere thanks by providing a few tips to help teachers deal with the pain of being on their feet all day.
Focus on Your Posture
If you’re experiencing pain in your feet, knees, hips, back, and neck after a hard day of teaching, it could have something to do with your posture when you’re standing. The next time you head into the classroom, try paying attention to the way you’re standing. When standing up straight, your feet should be about shoulder-width apart and your knees should be slightly bent. Let your arms hang naturally at your sides and focus your weight on the balls of your feet. Your back should be straight with your shoulders pulled back. When you stand in this posture, the stress of standing up will be more evenly distributed across the body, relieving strain on common pressure points like the lower back and arches of the feet.
Consider Your Footwear
Obviously, the shoes you wear have a lot to do with the amount of strain you feel when standing up all day. For teachers, your choice of footwear can go a long way towards keeping your comfortable as you go through your work day. For men, there are many types of dress shoes designed to be comfortable while maintaining a professional appearance. For women, choice of shoes can be more difficult. If the dress code at your school doesn’t require high heels, we would suggest you look at other options. Flats can be a good standby but they don’t offer much in the way of arch support, so talk to your doctor about acceptable footwear choices that will keep you comfortable all day. A good orthopaedist can also outfit your shoes with insoles designed to provide the support you need.
Find Time to Stretch or Relax
We know it’s not always easy but it’s crucial to find some time to get off your feet, even if it’s only for a few minutes. Teachers can sit at their desks between classes, during tests and quizzes, or during free periods. If you can find some time when your students aren’t in the room, you can also use your free moments to do some stretches that will keep your muscles and joints limber while you teach.
Whether you’ve been a teacher for decades or you just started teaching, your contributions are absolutely critical to the continued success of our entire country. Don’t let muscle and joint pain get in the way of that important job! If you’re feeling pain when you’re teaching, be sure to talk to an orthopaedic doctor right away to prevent today’s minor pain from becoming a big problem in the future. While we’ve focused this blog post on teachers, these tips can also apply to anyone who’s on their feet all day. To all the teachers out there, we’d like to say thank you once again. Follow the tips listed above and you’ll be in a better position to continue shaping the hearts and minds of America’s future leaders for years to come!