Regular physical activity has many health benefits (Blair, 2009), and public health campaigns recommending 10,000 steps per day are based on undisputed physiological principles and large-scale medical research (Wattanapisit and Thanamee, 2017). The benefits of physical activity are largest for those moving from sedentary to active (Lee et al., 2014), unfortunately, knee pain is the largest barrier to sedentary people becoming active or engaging in regular physical activity (Hootman et al., 2001) affecting 25-37% of over 50s (Nguyen et al., 2011).
DYSFUNCTIONAL FEET AND KNEE PAIN
Around 60% of adults have structurally compromised feet (Dunn et al., 2004). Toe deformity, leading to an unstable foot, is the most prevalent problem afflicting 23% of 18-65 year olds and over 36% of over 65s (Nix et al., 2010). Compromised big toe position leads to excessive pronation and inward collapse at the knee in walking (Plank, 1995). Walking 10,000 steps per day equates to 3,650,000 steps per year, each step loading the supporting leg and foot with up to 125% of bodyweight. For an 80kg person, that’s a cumulative load of 10,000,000 Newtons per day or 365,000,000,000 Newtons per year! Is it any wonder that a dysfunctional, unstable foot is a major factor in movement-related pain?
RESTORING FOOT FUNCTION AND STABILITY
To restore foot stability, the natural spread of the toes must be restored. Fortunately, the plasticity that permitted development of compromised feet in response to narrow, shoe-shaped shoes (Munteanu et al., 2017), also permits restoration of foot structure and therefore foot function (Knowles, 1953).The solution is:
In functional shoes, 10,000 steps a day can become the cure for your pain, instead of the cause!
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