Survey reveals foot pain is sweeping the nation


Perhaps it's time to recognize how much our feet do for us. They literally bear all of our weight, get pinched into too-tight shoes and we expect them to deal with the stresses of running around town all day and night. All the while, they rarely get so much as a foot rub or some comfy orthotics to absorb some of the shock of hitting the pavement umpteen times a day.

However, when foot conditions are neglected, they can come back to bite us.

A recent study commissioned by Merck revealed that 91 percent of Americans have had some kind of foot pain in their lives – likely stemming from overuse, bunions, fallen arches, etc. – and 56 percent of them have had to sit out of athletics or other activities as a result of their lower extremity conditions.

Foot pain gets in the way of taking extra steps

One of the most widely distributed pieces of advice for people to get more exercise is to make small efforts like taking the stairs instead of the elevator, and walking to nearby destinations rather than driving. However, foot problems appear to be a barrier to these activities.

The survey showed that about half of U.S. adults skip the stairwell and go straight for the elevator when there's a choice, and a whopping 78 percent of respondents reported driving to locations where walking would have been feasible.

Good news for comfy shoes

Researchers also asked the respondents about the shoes they wear on an average day. The results reveal that Americans may be pretty sensible when it comes to footwear, aiming for a balance between comfort and style.

A total of 86 percent of women said that they would pick shoes that are easy on their feet over a pair of trendy, towering heels. However, 58 percent of ladies also said they wear high heels at least once a week.

On some days, you may just want to say, "To heck with the office dress code" and toss on a pair of sneakers. And you wouldn't be alone, either, as the survey showed that 69 percent of workers have donned shoes that are too casual for work, simply because the footwear was the most comfortable option.