Walk a mile in my socks – a retail worker’s perspective on compression socks
Before we know it, the holiday shopping season will be upon us. For retail workers especially, this can be a downright exhausting time of year. The long hours spent on their feet may leave them with legs and feet that are sore, tired, aching and swollen. When we spend a lot of time on our feet, the veins in our legs have to work extra hard to pump blood back up to our heart. This can cause blood to pool in your lower extremities and lead to tired, achy legs and swelling. But, there is help! Wearing compression socks during a long day spent on your feet will improve your circulation by aiding blood flow back up to your heart. This is because compression socks have what is known as graduated compression. Compression gently hugs your legs, with the hug being tighter at the ankles and gradually less tight at the calves. This is indicated by a number like 15-20 mmHg, the 15 indicates the pressure at your calf, the 20 the pressure at your ankle and the mmHg is the unit of measurement, milligrams of mercury.
Don’t take our word for it though. Meet Pam, a retiree from a major automotive manufacturer who wasn’t quite ready to kick her feet up and relax full time, so she found a part time job at national specialty retailer of women’s clothing, shoes and accessories.
Q: Tell me about yourself.
A: I am a 62 year old woman who has rheumatoid arthritis which has caused me to have both knees and both hips replaced as well as hand joint damage. I used to be very physically fit, and although I am not overweight, I struggle holding objects and walking sometimes. I stay relatively active for my age and condition by walking my dogs and cleaning my house.
Q: What is a typical workday for you?
A: My shifts are at least 6 hours long. During those times I am constantly moving, I walk about 7 miles per shift! I am also climbing ladders and lifting heavy boxes.
Q: How much of your day do you spend standing? Sitting?
A: When I am at work, I am on my feet for the entire shift, which is at minimum 6 hours. When I am home, I spend much more time sitting.
Q: Have your worn compression before?
A: No, I have never worn compression socks before.
Q: How do your legs and feet feel after a typical day at work not wearing compression?
A: My leg muscles and feet feel “stressed” at the end of the night
Q: How did your legs and feet feel after wearing compression socks?
A: My legs and feet are not as stressed feeling and I noticed I do not use as much arthritis pain cream at night after I wear the socks.
Q: What did you think of the socks overall?
A: The socks are VERY fashionable. I am still getting used to having them on because of the “grip” it puts on my legs. Also, because of my recent hip replacement as well as my hands having trouble gripping things, it was a little hard to get the socks on but that is my only concern with them. Thank you for introducing these socks to me!
The socks Pam wore are the Freedom Rejuva Socks in Gray.