Since 2002, International Men’s Health Week—the week prior to and including Father’s Day each year—has put the spotlight on the major issues and concerns that impact the health and wellness of men around the world.
A widely read Men’s Health Network survey on The State of Men’s Health showed that 90% of men in the U.S. want to take charge of their own health[i], but the current life expectancy for men (age 76.6) remains markedly below that of women (age 81.2). Theories for this discrepancy include the idea that many men display a tendency to power through pain and discomfort, and avoid seeing doctors for regular checkups. Men’s Health Week serves as a reminder to men to take care of themselves, head to toe.
The Agony of Da Feet
For those hardworking guys who stay on their feet all day long to serve the public in a variety of professions, foot pain is a common complaint.
According to Johns Hopkins Medicine, poorly fitting shoes can worsen and sometimes even be the cause of foot pain[ii]. Shoes that fit well and offer good support go a long way toward preventing painful irritation, inflammation and muscle fatigue.
For active men who work at jobs that keep them on their feet for long shifts, from healthcare to hospitality to construction and manufacturing, the proper footwear will have a positive impact on overall health and wellness.
Safety Footwear For Men
Enhanced safety from on-the-job accidents can be achieved through the use of slip-resistant footwear that reduces the likelihood of slips and falls, a major cause of workplace injury. Workers from all types of industries will benefit from the proper safety footwear, particularly those who must stand, lift or carry, or work in environments featuring slick, slippery or uneven surfaces. A work shoe with a slip-resistant outsole, providing added traction for safer and more secure steps, is a must. Comfort is a key to maintaining stamina as well, and the addition of gel or foam insoles aids in shock absorption.
Of course, those in industrial manufacturing, construction or warehouses will also need to equip themselves with PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) that includes safety toe boots. Some work boot styles have a variety of other features including waterproof uppers, electrical hazard (EH) protection and electrostatic dissipating (ESD) capabilities. Safety footwear must meet stringent standards and will always be clearly labeled with its certifications and safety features.
No matter what job he does, just about any man who works on his feet all day will benefit from a shoe that fits comfortably, offers sturdy support and includes a removable insole that provides added cushioning.
More and more employers are now offering safety footwear programs as a benefit for staff, featuring partially or fully subsidized or discounted footwear that’s specifically designed for slip-resistant safety and comfort. Men’s Health Week might provide a good opportunity for risk management and safety professionals to make sure that base is covered.
To help ensure the health, comfort and safety of the men in our lives, the proper footwear is one small step in the right direction.