It’s tough to stand for eight hours or more. In fact, it’s probably tougher to stand for that long than it is to be moving or walking. And we’d all prefer to be sleeping for eight hours rather than standing. But for lots of people, being on their feet that long is the reality of their job.
Count me as one of those folks … occasionally. I DJ as a side job that I really love; been doing it for 25+ years since I was in college. When I’m hired to provide the music for someone’s wedding, I’m on my feet from the time I arrive and set up to after the last dance when friends and family send the bride and groom off with a bang. This past weekend, I don’t think I sat down except to tie my shoes when I changed into my suit. I even ate standing up.
For me, I need to be proactive in keeping my body in the proper position to prevent lower back soreness. I’ve got a number of strategies to help with this. Here’s a couple of them.
First, it goes without saying that the right shoes are critical. Men’s formal shoes usually have a slight heel, something I don’t normally wear, so this can throw my body out of whack. But just like they say you should spend money on a mattress, the same is true for shoes if you’ll be on your feet all day. The other secret is an anti-fatigue mat, a small cushioned rubber mat that helps to cushion the impact of standing on a hard surface for hours at a time.
For anyone with back problems, strengthening your core muscles can do wonders to help. Regularly exercising the abs, obliques, and back will help to support the spine and keep you from getting sore over the course of the day. Even if you don’t have the strongest of muscles, trying to keep the abs engaged will help.
The last trick I use is stretching, both before and during my day. For me this involves deep bends at the waist while keeping my legs as straight as I can. This helps stretch the backs of my thighs, which can pull on my back if they get too tight. I also do what I call ninja stretches (by no means is this the real name, but I like how it sounds), which involve me squatting down to the ground and sticking one leg out to the side. This stretch helps with my inner thigh and groin and feels good after a couple hours upright.
There is one final trick for me. That’s being the best DJ I can be and keeping the guests moving all night long. When this happens, time flies by, the night goes quicker, and I’m not even aware of my own body, just what the bodies on the dance floor are doing. That’s the best way for me to spend a day on my feet.
Previously on The Reluctant Hubby: “Life is a Competition“