Of course it’s not a good thing that so many Americans suffer from foot-related maladies, but for pedicurists, it’s not entirely a bad thing either.
To learn the extent of the problem, the Institute for Preventive Foot Health (IPFH) recently sponsored its second broad-based survey of the state of foot health in the United States. The survey found 78% of U.S. adults age 21+ report they have had one or more problems with their feet at some time in their lives. The most common foot maladies, plaguing both men and women, were ankle sprains (reported by roughly one in three respondents), followed by blisters, calluses, foot fatigue, cracked skin, and athlete’s foot. Poor foot health is linked to obesity, sedentary lives, and diabetes.
Study respondents admitted that their productivity on the job suffers when they have foot issues. Roughly half (52%) of adults report experiencing sore feet (frequently/occasionally) after working all day and another 44% admit it has a negative impact on their productivity.
Other key findings include the following:
> Among individuals currently experiencing foot issues, 59% reported having seen a specialist for their foot condition.
> More than half of adults (58%) report thinning fat pads with the majority (83%) unaware that the fat pad wears away with age.
> Running/jogging, hiking, basketball, fitness walking, and dancing are the top five activities producing sore, achy feet and/or blisters as a result of participating in the activity.
> Even leisure activities such as shopping produced sore feet in nearly half of adults (46%). Of these, over half (55%) said it occasionally impacted their enjoyment of their leisure activities.
> Individuals over age 50 who are currently experiencing foot issues are significantly more likely than their younger counterparts to visit a physician for foot issues. They are also more likely than 21- to 34-year-olds to have foot issues or foot pain and to say their foot conditions affect their walking and quality of life.
> Women seem to have more foot ailments than men and are significantly more likely than men to report having calluses, foot fatigue, cracked skin, ingrown toenails, blisters, swelling, plantar fasciitis, and corns.
> Poor foot health is associated with lower participation in fitness, athletic activities, and leisure pursuits. Foot health is negatively related to body mass index (BMI), creating a conundrum for overweight adults attempting to become more active and healthy.
You can read the entire survey here.