Oh, My Aching Back


Retail sales associates should try these tips to ease the aches and pains that come with working on your feet

woman with aching back

While we know sitting all day isn’t healthy, standing all day isn’t much better — as retail sales associates are well aware. Not only does it hurt your back, cause fatigue and stiffen muscle, constant standing also has been shown to increase cardiovascular risk.

To counteract these negatives, Jim Arabia, vice president of marketing for BigRentz, provides the following strategies in a March 1 online article for Retail Minded.

First, watch your posture. Correct alignment prevents muscle fatigue. Make sure:

  • Shoulders are pulled up and back.
  • Ribs are aligned with hips.
  • Stomach is stacked in.
  • Knees are slightly bent.
  • Feet are shoulder width apart.
  • Weight is on your heels.

Next, take time to stretch throughout the day. The following are a few exercises Arabia recommends to keep your muscles relaxed.

  • McKenzie back stretch: With your feet shoulder width apart, place your hands on your lower back and lean backward, keeping your hips over your feet.
  • Toe press: Put one leg behind you and press your toes into the ground until you feel tension. Hold for 10 seconds and then alternate legs.
  • Standing half moon: With your feet together, raise your arms above your head and interlock your fingers. Stretch to the left side, hold for 10 seconds, and then stretch to the right and hold for 10 seconds.
  • Neck retraction: Tuck your chin into your chest and slide head toward the spine to align the neck. Repeat 10 to 15 times.
  • Standing hamstring stretch: Place one foot on an elevated surface with knee straight. Stretch forward and hold for 15 to 30 seconds. Repeat three times on each leg.
  • Shoulder rolls: Move shoulders forward, up and then backward without moving your body. Repeat 10

Another trick is to roll a tennis ball under your foot to improve circulation, Arabia says. Also, wear shoes with proper cushioning and consider compression socks.

“The most important takeaway is that the human body is engineered to move,” he writes. “Like exercising, standing requires variety and proper form to maintain good health.”


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