Our feet happen to be some of the more complex parts of our body. After all, each foot has 26 different bones and all kinds of muscles, ligaments, and tendons. Your feet are crucial to your body because they support it. Your feet are the foundation of your body. They must support not only your body weight but also your balance. Because of this, having any foot problem can result in problems with the rest of the joints, muscles, and ligaments throughout your body. Visit the Orthotic Shop for a range of orthotic footwear. This is why a lot of people seek out custom orthotics. Custom orthotics are prescription devices that are used to correct foot problems. They are meant to fix a lot of biomechanical issues that can result when doing activities requiring movement. Having foot problems can cause issues with you whether you are standing, walking, or running. Having orthotics that are custom-made for your feet can help to reduce any pain you’re dealing with that is directly caused by your foot issues.
To get custom orthotics, your health practitioner is going to look at your overall history. They will also look at the things that could affect your feet including your weight, your height, and the types of activity you do regularly. This includes any medical conditions you might have. From there, your health practitioner is going to determine whether or not you are a candidate for getting customized orthotics. They will also use all of this information to figure out what materials the orthotics should be made of. Once they’ve determined all of this, they will take a 3D mold of your feet. That way, they will have the exact specifications of your feet which they can create a custom orthotic to match. This will help them design something that addresses your specific needs as far as your biomechanics are concerned.
A lot of the time, you’ll find medical practitioners offering up these types of orthotics if you are dealing with problems that can be directly caused by poor alignment. Whether it’s fatigue, muscle soreness, ligament problems, or foot pain, orthotics can help. Here, you will find some of the benefits of getting custom orthotics for both your overall health and your foot health.
1. Proper Support For Your Feet
One of the main benefits you will be able to get by getting custom orthotics is proper support for your feet. They will design shoe inserts that will help to provide you better overall support. This is especially true for the arches of your feet. That way, you gain more stability when you are either standing or walking. While you can find the same benefits from over-the-counter (OTC) alternatives, you aren’t going to get the same level of precision as with custom orthotics. After all, they are designed with a standard foot in mind. Thus, they aren’t going to be tailored to match the exact specifications of your feet. This means you won’t be able to get problem areas dealt with nor will you be able to correct any foot abnormalities you might have. For instance, if you have flat feet or high arches you won’t get the same precision offered through OTC options.
2. Protecting Your Joints
The force that is applied to all of the joints of your feet and your entire body is going to be the equivalent of your weight multiplied by several times. Because of this, you will find that your body takes a beating. This can cause a lot of issues if you have foot trouble. This is especially true if you are carrying more bodyweight than your frame is built for. Also, if you are someone who routinely walks on hard surfaces, you’ll find it gets even worse. For those who have flat feet, you will suffer from similar issues. That being said, custom orthotics, can help your feet properly support the entire weight of your body while standing still and doing movement activities. This will enable your feet to have the weight distributed much more evenly. This can keep you from having to absorb the impact with a specific area of your feet. That way, you can stay active much longer throughout the day without experiencing the normal wear and tear that would come with it. It can also be a good fix if you have two different feet from one another. That way, you can balance your feet out to ensure you aren’t dealing with complex alignment-related issues.
3. Pain Reduction
You are going to end up experiencing lessened pain because the orthotics will help to provide your foot with more cushion. This can be especially true if you suffer from problems that are known to cause painful issues that can affect more than one area of the body. For instance, if you suffer from arthritis, flat feet, or even plantar fasciitis, custom orthotics can bring a lot of pain relief. When you suffer from these issues, you’ll place a lot of strain on the ankles and other joints in your body. You will even place more pressure on your lower back. Because of this, you’ll quickly find these things wearing down quicker than normal. This is to compensate for the biomechanical problems they cause. For those that suffer from diabetes, custom orthotics can help to keep you from developing foot ulcers.
4. Better Athletic Performance
You’ll find a lot of athletes invest in custom orthotics. The reason is due to the wear and tear your body goes through. If an athlete has an imbalance, they are going to suffer more than someone who doesn’t do a lot of high-impact exercises. Custom orthotics are not only going to reduce the risk of injury, but they can make it much easier to perform precise movements. They will also help to improve balance because the weight of your body will be distributed evenly. It can even help to reduce any muscle fatigue you experience because your muscles won’t have to work overtime.
5. Injury Prevention
As mentioned, you will be able to reduce your risk of injury with custom orthotics. They can prevent a lot of injuries because they are going to help balance out your body. When you suffer from any kind of imbalance no matter the reason, you are at a heightened risk for suffering an injury. Research has shown that custom orthotics can reduce the risk of sustaining an injury by 28 percent. Likewise, they can reduce the risk of sustaining a stress fracture by as much as 41 percent.
6. Improve Your Quality Of Life
By making significant improvements in your balance and the alignment of your feet, you can reduce the unnecessary stress placed on other important areas of your body. This can improve your overall health and allow you to live a pain-free life. A lot of people might have difficulties sleeping or remaining active because of foot trouble. Custom orthotics can remedy a lot of these issues which can help you enjoy a higher quality of life.
The Subtle Cues in Our Environment that Encourage Healthier Living
The choices we make each day regarding our diet, activity and lifestyle habits ultimately determine our health and wellbeing. Nonetheless, the surroundings we inhabit also actively influence those decisions, whether we realize it or not. Our built environment contains many subtle cues that either promote or impede healthy behaviors. With thoughtful awareness, we can leverage and shape these cues to nudge ourselves toward more positive choices.
Architectural Cues for Active Living
Urban design and infrastructure elements play a major role in our activity levels. Visible, accessible staircases encourage climbing over passive elevator use. Features like centrally located, attractive stairwells bathed in natural light make stairs hard to ignore. Artwork beautifies the ascent while music enlivens acoustics. Placing stairwells near prominent gathering areas also maximizes exposure and use. Conversely, hidden dreary stairwells discourage climbing. Building layouts should make stairways the default for short trips. Thoughtful design embeds activity into daily routines.
Outside, continuous sidewalks and protected bike lanes provide clear cues that active transit is safe and expected. Ample parking signals driving is preferable. Traffic calming measures like speed humps and narrowed lanes imprint mental cautions for vehicles to accommodate bikes and pedestrians. Sidewalk street furniture and plantings buffer walkers from traffic. Crosswalks, pedestrian signals, and refuge islands imprint rights of way. Complete Streets redesign allocates fair space for diverse safe use. Our infrastructure surroundings can literally pave the path for active living.
Office and Home Cues
Subtle factors within buildings also affect activity and diet. Kitchen placement, for instance, affects our choices. Research shows open concept kitchens integrated into living areas encourage more healthful cooking and family meals than closed off kitchens. Islands and open shelving provide visual snack cues that can either prompt cravings or showcase fruits, nuts, and other healthy grabs. Kitchens sited near entries or offices also maximize visibility and food prep use rather than distant basement kitchens.
At offices, centrally located shared spaces like break rooms, cafes and snack nooks encourage communal meals, informal gatherings and refueling walks to retrieve snacks. Providing showers, bike racks and lockers signals active commuting is valued. Standing and treadmill desks prompt movement during sedentary work, while choice architecture guides selections from communal food areas. Simple environmental adjustments nudge better decisions.
Nutritional Cues at Markets and Restaurants
Eateries and markets harbor cues that stimulate cravings along with willpower depletion. Certain lighting, music, and décor stimulate overindulgence. Cues that unconsciously hurry patrons undermine reasoned decisions. Scented air surrounding baked goods stalls awakens salivation and desire. Strategic menu design also sways choices. Listing unhealthy items first or at eye level suppresses willpower. Descriptive names romanticize less healthy options. Menu formatting can also highlight nutritious dishes and portion guidance. Markets use product placement for maximizing impulse grabs. Though subtle, environmental exposures across stores and eateries significantly sway our eating choices.
Cues for Hydration and Rest
Proper hydration and sleep are imperative for our wellbeing but are easily overlooked when immersed in urban settings and schedules. Environmental design can combat these gaps through strategic cues. Plentiful public water fountains provide visual refreshment reminders throughout cities, while placing restrooms near fountains links the hydration notion. Cafes position chilled water dispensers up front for thirst-quenching without calories. Homes and offices forget hydration less with decorative pitchers and glasses on tables. Lighting design is key for sleep cues. Dimming lights in workplaces and warm home lighting provide visual preparation for rest. Cool-toned blue hues stimulate and signal awakening. Our surroundings can cue us to drink and sleep wisely.
Signage and Sensory Cues
Explicit signs offer direct visual cues to healthier behaviors – such as a no smoking sign that prompts at entrances. Staircases could feature plaques tallying burned calories. Cafeterias may display encouragements to take smaller portions or try vegetable sides. Signs foster mindfulness and restraint at choice points. Sensory cues also guide behaviors. Smells eliciting happiness or calm can de-stress environments. Soothing natural sounds and music relax tense settings. Harsh lighting and noise stimulate frenetic energy and impulsiveness. Pleasant sensory experiences invite more mindful, deliberate choices. Uplifting cues infuse healthy messaging into spaces.
Art and Nature Cues for Wellbeing
Artwork carrying uplifting themes or depicting healthy activities, fruits and vegetables, serene nature and joyful gatherings infuses visual positivity into surroundings. Murals and wall graphics remind us what truly matters for wellbeing. Images are digestible in passing, sinking into the subconscious. Vibrant, thriving plants and greenery provide natural visual relief and comfort that lower stress. Decor mimicking natural materials brings warmer textures. Spatial flow mimicking nature’s curves calms minds. Natural light and windows boost mentality and sleep cycle regulation. Thoughtful touches of art and nature foster mental balance, positivity, and healthy choices.
Our everyday surroundings contain many subtle influences on our diet, activity, sleep, and lifestyle, either promoting or hindering health. But heightened awareness of these cues allows us to consciously reshape environments for encouraging wiser choices. Simple changes to architecture, office layouts, signage, lighting, art, and nature contact encourage movement, nutrition, and wellbeing. Our minds absorb ambient cues, so design wisely. When supportive healthy cues surround us, positive habits become a little easier, more inviting, and purposeful. Think about cues you could shift for better living. Small nudges in public spaces and our homes can guide us all toward healthier, more thoughtful lives.
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