How important are the ergonomics of the shoes that we wear? How does it affect our perception of well-being and how does it influence our performance, especially in a work setting?
The choice of work shoes must respond to specific requirements related to the workplace and well-being of our feet. We move around on our feet and the shoes that we wear affect our posture. If you consider that we wear them for a good portion of the day, it is easy to understand the fundamental importance of a good pair of well-fitting shoes.
We discussed this with Michele Montagna: a posturologist, kinesiologist, consultant and lecturer in workplace economics.
Safety shoes can have a significant influence on our body, the way we move and distribution of weight.
Numerous studies show how the distribution of pressure on the sole, the shape and materials used for the footwear can influence the well-being of the entire body: from the joints to maintaining a correct posture, with consequences caused by the incorrect positioning of the foot – for example, plantar fasciitis – and most problems related to the musculoskeletal system (joints and spine).
Let’s find out with Michele Montagna what features work shoes should have to ensure healthy feet, back and joints.
- U-POWER’S COMMITMENT TO THE PREVENTION OF OCCUPATIONAL MUSCULOSKELETAL DISORDERS
- RYDER: A PERFECT EXAMPLE OF AN ERGONOMIC WORK SHOE
- RYDER AND U-POWER’S RED 360 RANGE: WHEN THE DETAILS MAKE THE DIFFERENCE
Let’s see with Michele Montagna how to recognise a shoe that can ensure well-being, comfort and health prevention.
The standard for safety shoe ergonomics cites musculoskeletal problems as one of the main causes of inability to work and numerous health problems.
Backache and joint pain are often linked to the type of job, repetitive movements, loads lifted, posture and fatigue.
The use of suitable Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) can have a significant influence on the worker’s comfort and perception of well-being, with direct consequences on work performance and correct posture, which are all factors that can help to prevent possible problems with the musculoskeletal system.
U-Power has always been committed to safeguarding workers’ health and continuously invests in the research for new technologies and materials which can not only provide greater safety and comfort, but also prevent disorders linked to incorrect posture, poor weight distribution and resulting musculoskeletal disorders.
The result of this research is safety shoes which consider ergonomics to be an essential factor, which is why the footwear ranges are tested by Michele Montagna, a genuine sector-based expert:
- ✔ Consultant and lecturer in workplace ergonomics, prevention and treatment of musculoskeletal disorders in the workplace;
- ✔ Certified trainer in occupational health and safety;
- ✔ Degree in Sports Science;
- ✔ Posturologist;
- ✔ Kinesiologist recognised by the Italian Union of Kinesiologists.
When working, shoes ensure protection and comfort, however, thanks to new technologies, our shoes also provide us with a genuine aid in safeguarding the health, not only of our feet, but of our entire body in the short and medium-long term.
It is on the basis of these assumptions that the science of ergonomics takes into consideration and studies the technologies which benefit people. The goal of ergonomics is to make it easier for workers to carry out their duties and tasks, so they live better and more healthily whilst paying close attention to the concept of safety and prevention.
From the tests carried out by Michele Montagna, we can declare that the RYDER safety shoes of the RED 360 range are ergonomic shoes and embody the technology that benefits workers starting from the design phase.
Let’s take an in-depth look at the specifics:
Lycra® fibre fabric collar
This collar completely surrounds the foot in the area below the malleolus, providing greater comfort when flexing and extending the foot.
Unlike footwear that uses rigid materials and causes mechanical friction rubbing the skin and the Achilles tendon, the soft Lycra® fibre fabric collar allows the ankle to flex and move, preventing blisters and skin abrasions.
Anti-shock heel with Shield technology
This is a waterproof, breathable clip, which helps to stabilise and protect the foot and heel bone preventing the rear of the foot from moving in a varus or valgus direction, i.e. outward and inward rotation, which is considered to be bad for the gait and thus, should be avoided.
Infinergy® technology by BASF and PU midsole
The design of the midsole and PU elastomers, together with the Infinergy® insert, enhance the mechanical and elastic properties of the work shoe which, when overloaded during use, stores potential energy and restores it in the form of kinetic energy – i.e. movement – with a significant anti-fatigue effect.
According to studies in Applied Human Physiology, this means experiencing proprioception, typical of neuromuscular receptors, of genuine sensory fluidity.
The WOW ergonomic insole adapts to the foot thanks to its self-modelling properties and guarantees support, comfort and the quality of support of the sole.
Its memory foam structure, ventilated on the front of the foot and raised in the rear, allows optimal distribution of body weight and, therefore, of the biomechanical load on the foot and joints.
Ergonomic front and rear eyelets
The two eyelets, one on the tongue of the shoe and the other over the heel, allow for a simplified fit even in the case of excess weight (overweight) making it quick and easy to put the shoes on, thus improving comfort even in brief moments, which could, however, represent potential risk factors.
But that’s not all!
In addition to the factors related to ergonomics and improved comfort of the RYDER work shoe, like all the other models in the RED 360 range, this model also features a high-grip tread which allows you to work with peace of mind, and full freedom of movement, while reducing the risk factors, even on the most challenging surfaces.
But RYDER also guarantees a micro-climate designed to maintain an ideal temperature for your feet, thanks to the soft suede leather with ultra-breathable nylon inserts and WingTex air tunnel lining.
We often consider the breathability of safety footwear to merely be a feature associated with the hottest months of the year when it is essential to have improved foot ventilation, however, work shoes should also ensure an ideal temperature and good breathability in all seasons, given that the perception of heat varies from one person to another.
This means that the materials and manufacturing technique of the safety footwear play an extremely important part in meeting the requirements for well-being, peace of mind and consequently, the safety of the worker.
This means that the workplace can make a big difference. Working indoors or outdoors, when it’s windy raining or humid lead to different requirements. And it is obvious that if you feel the cold more, you’ll need PPE that ensures better insulation and warmth for your feet to prevent the cold from spreading to your legs and the rest of your body. If, however, you have a very active job, you’ll need to be able to efficiently disperse the excess heat.
In both cases, customised safety footwear like RYDER ensures a well-balanced self-regulating process, allowing for a better internal temperature balance, thus benefiting the entire body.
Safety in the workplace starts with the feet and with U-Power you are guaranteed safety, prevention, and ergonomics, as well as an attractive style and design. Take Michele Montagna’s word for it!
Don’t worry, be happy…with U-Power!
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