Concrete is durable, versatile and strong, but it can miserable to stand and walk on all day. Aside from causing foot pain, the constant movement on a rigid surface can play havoc with your back. Since it’s not always possible to find another job or figure out how to sit down at the one you have, finding ways to prevent, compensate for and correct back pain is your best bet.
Purchase shoes that provide cushioning as well as support. Wearing 4-inch heels on concrete all day might make you look good, but high heels can throw your posture out of alignment, since most women tend to lean forward and walk on their toes when wearing them. If you must dress for success while walking on concrete, find shoes that are as supportive as they are stylish.
Place cushioned insoles in your shoes to add an extra layer of cushioning. Also check into orthotics, which are padded insoles that can help compensate for irregularities in your posture.
Check your posture. Slouching can add to the stress that walking on concrete can put on your back. Imagine a string coming out of the top of your head. Pull it straight up and feel your spine straightening. Keep your shoulders back, down and relaxed. Tuck your butt under and be mindful of pulling your belly button in toward your back throughout the day.
Strengthen your abdominal muscles to help support the muscles of your back. Lie on the floor with your knees bent and your feet flat on the floor. Rest your fingertips just behind your ears. Inhale and then exhale as you raise your shoulders form the floor, using the muscles in your belly to pull your rib cage toward your hip bones. Repeat 10 to 12 times. Let your knees fall to the left and do 10 to 12 more repetitions. Repeat again with your knees to the right.
Stretch your back when you get home. The simplest back stretch is to lie on the floor and bring your knees to your chest. Wrap your arms around your knees and slowly rock back and forth. Sit up with your legs straight in front of you and reach for your feet. Breathe out as you stretch forward, concentrating on relaxing the muscles in your lower back.
Place rubber matting down, if possible. Cushioning the floor will help ease the strain on your back caused by walking on the bare concrete.
- Examine your mattress to make sure that it offers the proper ratio of support to softness so that you’re not putting added strain on your back while you sleep.
- Do not bounce when stretching. Keep your movements steady and slow.
Emmy-award nominated screenwriter Brynne Chandler is a single mother of three who divides her time between professional research and varied cooking, fitness and home & gardening enterprises. A running enthusiast who regularly participates in San Francisco's Bay to Breakers run, Chandler works as an independent caterer, preparing healthy, nutritious meals for Phoenix area residents.