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HEALTHY FEET + HAPPY WORKERS = HEALTHY BUSINESS

HEALTHY FEET + HAPPY WORKERS = HEALTHY BUSINESS

Understanding The Work Environment

Workers who walk or stand for long periods of time during their workday, without proper foot support and shock absorption, are susceptible to pain and harmful musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) that can have lasting effects on the body. Just as steel-toe footwear is often required as personal protective equipment (PPE) for workers, insoles are essential for preventing pain and fatigue.

If workers spend hours on their feet, there is an increased risk for inflammation and excess muscle fatigue that could be avoided with proper foot support and insole comfort. Aches and pains in the body associated with foot issues can also impact workers knees and back. Understandably, this can result in reduced employee work productivity, lower morale and increased absenteeism. Thankfully, solutions exist today that can reduce the negative impact of the environment on employees’ feet.

Healthy Feet Start With Smart Corporate Decision Making

In order to address foot and lower extremity issues within their workforce, companies are predominantly choosing between insoles and floor matting. Personal insoles offer numerous advantages over floor mats (Occupational Health & Safety). These benefits include:

  • Portability: Insoles can be implemented instantly without training and go wherever the worker goes. This makes them an ideal solution for both stationary and mobile workers who work both indoors and outdoors. Additionally, when a worker walks away from their workstation, the comfort stays with them. This option also protects employees who walk to and from work, ensuring they arrive and leave without strained or sore feet.
  • Personalize Comfort: Employees can select the type of insole that best matches their needs, allowing for personalized comfort for workers based on their foot size and arch type.
  • Direct Contact with the Body: As insoles are placed inside the footwear, they have 100 percent surface contact with the feet and body, 100 percent of the time, providing a reliable ergonomic solution. Therefore, they’re far more effective than the standard anti-fatigue floor mats at reducing muscle strain, improving balance reactions and increasing blood circulation. This helps to prevent pain and injuries.
  • Reduced Risk: Insoles reduce the risks of slips, trips and falls, making the workplace safer and lowering expenses related to workers’ compensation claims. Facilities that utilize matting, must make sure to keep the surfaces clean and well-maintained so that they remain intact and the edges don’t curl up and create tripping hazards.
  • Less Maintenance: Insoles are often machine washable, making them extremely easy to keep clean compared to mats that build up dirt over time.
  • Easy to Implement: Insole programs are simple to implement, particularly if you have conducted a wear test trial with a key group of employees first.
  • Cost Effective: Insoles are more affordable than floor matting. Top end cost for a floor mat is approximately $200 with higher end insoles at approximately ÂĽ that cost.

Rather than an afterthought, the right insoles should be considered as a necessary complement to any corporate health and wellness program. Implementing a company insole program is an important decision and all aspects should be considered, including employee involvement, to ensure the program meets the needs of all workers, and has a positive impact and acceptance rate.

How To Make Those Workers’ Feet Happy

The rank and file know that proper supportive insoles will help address physical work requirements such as prolonged standing, static postures, over-exertion and repetitive motion. The right insole provides better balance and overall lower body alignment. This in turn reduces aches, pain and injuries on the job. Another added benefit is that once an insole program is instituted, the confidence level for safety leaders will be increased.

(Corporate Wellness Magazine)

Finding an insole provider that offers numerous customizable and comfortable options allows companies and employees to explore a range of solutions for both plant/ warehouse and office workers. Insoles that provide shock absorption can be used to prevent health and pain issues, while others provide more support to align the foot into the proper neutral position.

A new insole, SelectFlex provides companies with a unique and cost effective way to offer their employees dynamic customization for their arch while, providing maximum comfort. With SelectFlex PowerLift Arch suspension system, the wearer is able to control the support level and dynamic firmness provided to the arch. This unique Arch-Control Insole has earned SelectFlex the honor as Best Foot Protection Product of 2020 by Industrial Safety & Health News (ISHN Awards), additionally, this superior technology will translate to improved employee foot health, reduced fatigue, higher productivity and lower injury/illness associated costs.

Different work activities, types of footwear and other factors within a corporation can impact the level of safety, comfort and support required. Therefore, it’s important to provide anti-fatigue solutions with multiple customization options. SelectFlex allow users to adjust support easily and quickly when these factors impact comfort, support and balance.

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How is Energy Return Important? [StatIc vS dynamic insoles]

How is Energy Return Important? [StatIc vS dynamic insoles]

Energy Return is important for foot health and mobility. There are many types of Energy Return provided by footwear and insoles.

Most footwear and insoles are basically static, absorb and cushion energy but do not return significant energy nor dynamic alignment.

The best footwear and insoles generate greater alignment with the body, joint health and more energy at the end of the day from easier movement and less pain from their support of the body.

The most competitive footwear will propel or push you forward more efficiently when running, while the best insoles create and maintain support for your lower extremities.

The Holy Grail for marquee footwear manufacturers is to provide quantifiable energy return for their customers feet that produce quicker running times and higher performance.

NIKE React Foam technology was recently used in their marathon running shoe soles with a carbon fiber footpad. Nike achieved the Holy Grail of true 13% energy return while providing 4% propulsion for faster marathon times. Nike’s high performance foam uniquely absorbs foot strike energy on the down step and releases it during toe-off with marathon setting results.

Conversely, soft materials are great at absorbing energy but are very inefficient at returning energy. This is often found in insoles that use foam to absorb impact, cushion and support the foot but are unable to return meaningful energy.

Protalus foam insoles do a good job of stabilizing the heel with their triplanar technology but do NOT return energy to the foot. Dr. Scholl’s inserts has the same foam limitation without the stabilising heel.

Foam is comprised of a matrix of thin walled air cells packed together within a polymer form, that individually begin to break down and compress over time, reducing the impact, cushioning and support they were originally designed to provide.

SelectFlex is an entirely new type of dynamic energy returning insole on the market that just won the ISHN Best Protective Footwear category for 2020.

SelectFlex insoles use a patented energy returning arch lifting technology called the PowerLift Arch. The PowerLift Arch provides the wearer with 3 energy return levels to support the arch with dynamic alignment with every step.

This unique arch technology dynamically lifts your arch into a comforting sine wave motion that provides up to 89% more arch support with every step. SelectFlex recently completed an in depth study at a major University. The revolutionary Certified Lab Tests & Performance Benefits measured, sets SelectFlex apart from static footwear and insoles.

For the first time, there is finally an insole that dynamically returns energy to the foot and the arch by lifting it into comforting re-alignment!

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HOW OFTEN SHOULD INSOLES BE REPLACED (and why own more than one)?

HOW OFTEN SHOULD INSOLES BE REPLACED (and why own more than one)?

3 Factors that Affect Insole Replacement

Like shoes, insoles have a lifespan and wear down over time, but how quickly depends on 3 primary factors:

1) Quality of Insole: Higher quality over the counter insoles generally last longer than insoles made with cheaper polymer materials.

  • Full length, high quality insoles typically cost between $40 - $80 and usually only need replacement when shoes are replaced, which can be anywhere from 6 – 12 months depending on usage.
  • Lower quality insoles cost between $15 - $50 and, though they may be supportive for a week or even a month, they break down fast and must be replaced more often, which can end up costing more than better quality insoles.
  • Softer insoles also tend to wear out quickly and need replacing every 1 – 6 months.

2) Level of Activity: With normal wear during daily activities like walking the dog and running errands, quality insoles could last up to 12 months.

  • High impact sports such as running, hiking or tennis put more stress on inserts, as well as on shoes. Most athletes know that both shoes and insoles used for strenuous activities should be replaced every 4-6 months. (Help Shoe)

 3) Frequency of Use: Some people wear insoles all day every day, while others only wear them during specific activities. Logically the more you wear them the quicker they’ll wear out.

5 Signs that it’s Time to Replace Insoles

  1. Visual Damage: Torn, cracked, etc., which can cause blisters
  2. Fading: Color and Logo
  3. Bad Odor: Indicates bacteria or fungal growth, which can lead to foot infections
  4. Compressed: Constant wear will eventually compress insoles and no longer offer cushioning and support
  5. Life Changes: Pregnancy, surgery, increased physical activity, etc.

  4 Reasons to Own Multiple Pairs of Insoles

  1. Prolong the life of shoes: Not everyone knows that replacing factory insoles with new insoles improves the wearability of shoes by adding more comfort and support. Better alignment in turn will allow for less wear and tear on your shoes / soles. (FootHealth.com)

  2. More footwear choices: There are more types and styles of shoes than ever. Thus, it stands to reason that the more footwear you own, the more insoles you may need.

  3. Rule of thumb (or toe): It’s best to have at least 3 pairs of insoles—One for work, one for play and one for every day. (Or, one for work shoes, one for athletic shoes and one for casual shoes.)
  4. Insoles are for Everyone: Insoles aren’t just for those with foot, back and joint pain. Wearing insoles that provide additional cushioning, arch support, ankle stability and alignment is good for anyone anywhere anytime. So invest in comfort for yourself and for your loved ones too.

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