How often have you stopped to look down at your feet? Take a moment to appreciate your feet – think of the amount of time you spend on your feet or with you feet in shoes? How mobile are your feet? When you stand where is the weight distributed through your feet, is it more to the front, back, inside, outside?
There are 26 bones, 33 joints, 19 muscles, 10 tendons and 107 ligaments in the foot. Like any other part of the body, the feet need movement to stay healthy and active. The complex structure of the foot is designed to aid you in balance, stability, alignment, mobility and support the rest of the skeleton on top. Can you lift your toes up, all or them, just the big toe, how well do you toes bend at their joints, do your feet adapt easily to being on different surfaces, in different shoes, can they breathe easily?
ALIGNMENT & ADAPTABILITY
What shape is your foot and where do the bones align in relation to one another when standing, sitting or moving around? The tripod shape of the foot creates a good stable base to support and transport us. The longitudinal and transverse arches created by the metatarsals and anchored by the talus bone act to shock absorb, distribute compression and tension and adapt to ground forces. Taking the time to pay attention to our feet and understand how the health of our feet impacts our mobility, foot function and body alignment is important.
Sitting for long periods also affects the function of the foot. This is worse in winter, when icy weather and humidity causes our feet and legs to get cold, achy and stiff. In winter, it’s not uncommon for people to experience foot cramps, chilblains or cracked and dry skin. The shoes that we wear can either support or restrict the adaptability of our feet. Regular foot exercises are important to maintain the mobility, adaptability and proprioception. Stiffness, misalignment, injury and pathologies effect foot function and lead to compensation and adaptations in how we move and our static (standing and lying) and dynamic (moving) posture.
You can learn more about feet in our Balance Stability & Healthy Feet Workshop or 4 week course. Get your feet moving by watching our videos.
“The human foot is a masterpiece of engineering and a work of art” – Leonardo Da Vinci