Research shows that over one million Americans sustain an ankle injury during any given year. While they can occur anywhere, many ankle injuries occur in the workplace. If you work on your feet, you’ll need to take precautions to minimize your risk; fortunately, there are several things you can do to protect against work-related ankle injuries.

Watch Where You Step

Being conscious of where you can step can lower your risk of work-related ankle injuries. Most ankle injuries consist of sprains; sprains are characterized by the stretching or tearing of a ligament. If you twist your ankle, you may sustain a sprain, which can be both painful and debilitating. Watching where you step, however, will lower your risk of sprains and other types of ankle injuries.

Common hazards on the floor that can increase your risk of ankle injuries include the following:

  • Loose cords
  • Steps
  • Water
  • Spilled liquids
  • Boxes
  • Tools
  • Damaged tiles or flooring material

Wear the Right Size Shoes or Boots

Don’t underestimate the importance of wearing the right size shoes or boots; if they are too big, they may place you at a higher risk for ankle injuries. Footwear is designed to stabilize your feet, which in turn stabilizes your body — but it can only do so if it’s the right size. If your shoes or boots are too big, your feet may lack the stability needed to protect your ankles from injury; after taking a step, you may twist your ankle while subsequently sustaining an ankle injury. Wearing the right size shoes or boots will protect you from work-related ankle injuries by stabilizing your feet and your body.

Perform Ankle Exercises

You can lower your risk of work-related ankle injuries by performing ankle exercises; ankle exercises consist of physical activities that are designed to strengthen the muscles in your ankles. With stronger muscles, your ankles will be better supported. Most leg exercises are considered ankle exercises; you can perform squats and leg presses, for example, to strengthen your ankle muscles.

Wear Ankle Braces

If you’re worried about sustaining an ankle injury while working, you may want to wear ankle braces. Ankle braces consist of an elastic material that you wrap around your ankles. Like other types of braces, they are compressive; ankle braces will compress against your ankles so that they are better supported and, thus, protected against injury.

These are just a few ways you can keep your ankles and stability secure as you work; until next time, Work Safe & Be Safe!

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