How Footwear and Clothing Can Affect Your Posture and Comfort as a Care Worker

Discover how comfortable work shoes and clothes can significantly impact the wellbeing, health and overall performance of care workers in adult social care.

With long working days spent mostly on your feet in a physically demanding environment, posture and comfort are perhaps more crucial in the care sector than in any other industry.

We shouldn’t underestimate the importance for professionals and organisations to invest in the appropriate footwear and clothing, especially when it can improve our physical health and overall performance. 

Read on to find out how footwear and clothing affect your comfort and posture before we suggest the ideal shoes and clothes for care workers available today on the market.

How Can Footwear Affect Posture?

Starting from the ground up, let’s investigate the potential impacts of footwear on our posture. Firstly, we should recognise that our feet are the foundations for our overall posture.

Therefore, we shouldn’t take our shoes for granted, especially as they provide the only barrier between us and the ground for hours at a time. In predominantly being the only interaction with the ground, the connection between our feet and the floor is fundamental, with the wrong footwear potentially causing musculoskeletal disorders.

But before we delve into the best work shoes for posture, let’s see some scientific evidence that defines what provides good posture from our feet.

Unique to us all, our feet have a natural curvature that influences our posture when its arch is or isn’t supported. For example, if our feet remain too flat, it can cause postural misalignment and other issues.

With the average in-house care shift between 8-10 hours and nursing home shifts at 12 hours, care workers need to consider their footwear as much as any other profession. Investing in stable and comfortable footwear that supports the curvature of your feet can do wonders for your posture.

What Are the Best Work Shoes for Posture?

Footwear with enough arch support can help keep your spine aligned and maintain, if not improve your posture. So, the first thing is to find the best pair of shoes that support the natural arch of your feet.

Now, without trying shoe after shoe in the shop to see what fits best, it might pay to do some research first.

Some of the best arch support footwear are running shoes with brands like ASICS, HOKA, Nike and Puma, who provide extra-large cushioned soles that benefit foot curvature support.

Although designed for running and hiking, these trainers make perfect sense for healthcare assistants who clock over 63,504 steps a week. That’s 28.95 miles per week!

However, according to a podiatrist in the USA, New Balance comes out on top as the most supportive shoe for nurses. “New Balance sneakers are usually the best choice due to their excellent construction and choice of many different widths to help provide appropriate fitting.”

For more details about the best footwear for care workers that goes beyond posture and deals with other key features, check out our blog – ‘Choosing the Right Footwear for Care Workers: Tips and Recommendations’.

How Do Clothes Affect Posture?

More surprisingly, it’s not just your feet that can affect your posture. Your clothes can do too.

We can identify care workers with loose-fitted tunic and trousers in matching colours. Not only does it help establish an identity and build trust with clients, but it provides the ideal comfort and posture support.

That’s because wearing loose-fit clothes won’t restrict your movement. Anything tight-fitted can limit mobility, which is troublesome when movement is crucial to your role.

For example, skinny jeans affect movement in the hips and knees, while tight waistlines can prevent central movement with your core muscles. Plus, tight-fitted clothes around the waste will also cause people to bend from the waist rather than the hips, which can be a regular movement in care work.

Bending over at the hips or bending down with your knees keeps your spine neutral. On the other hand, bending over at the waste will force your back to curve and apply unnecessary pressure to your spine.

Other clothing that can affect your posture include scarves, bras and undergarments. For example, heavy neckwear can cause your head to sit further forward, while the wrong-sized bra can affect your posture and breathing.

What Are the Best Work Clothes for Posture?

The best clothes you can wear as a care worker will be loose-fitted with a comfortable material.

Naturally, comfortable work clothes should place you in the best position to support your posture because they allow you to move freely and develop the correct stance and movement.

Whether you’re helping collect shopping as an in-house carer or providing washing and bathing services inside a nursing home, the more comfortable you are in your uniform, the more comfortable your clients can feel in your care.

If you’re worried about your posture at work after too many years of slouching and bending at the waste, you can also invest in a posture corrector. There are various options available for men and women. Just do some research first before you make a purchase.

Make a More Comfortable Career Choice with Adult Social Care

At Herefordshire Cares, we help various candidates looking for a rewarding new career in care find the ideal employer with a range of roles across the county.

From Home Carers to Wellbeing Assistants and Support Workers, we have numerous opportunities on our vacancies page, which we update weekly.

If you have any questions about any of these positions, please get in touch, and feel free to visit our news and blog page for more industry insights.