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Bare feet in the office: Harmless or health hazard?

Friday 16th August 2013
Bare feet in the office: Harmless or health hazard?
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As the UK has experienced somewhat of a heatwave over the past few weeks many people have been embracing going barefoot in the office.

While some will regard this as a harmless trait that is the perfect way to relax after a long day working but for some it can really knock them sick. The smell of bare feet airing off can actually divide an office but is it just an innocent habit or can it be detrimental to the health of people in the office? Mancunian Matters canvassed the opinion of Dr Anita Williams, senior lecturer in podiatry at the University of Salford who was quick to dismiss any rumours surrounding being barefoot.

Some people believe epidemics as fungi have the potential to go airborne through the air conditioning due to people taking their shoes off on a regular basis. However, Dr Williams simply dismissed this premise and likened the habit to using a swimming pool. While she looked to dispel this popular myth she warned that going shoeless could actually be more of a hindrance to members of the public.

Dr Williams told the news provider: "Walking barefoot isn’t an issue but shoes are a good protective mechanism, especially for foot conditions like flat feet, wearing the right shoes can really help.

"There’s obviously the danger of dropping objects on your feet or walking on things like drawing pins which may be a problem with health and safety, but otherwise it won’t cause any damage.”

In recent years there has been a growing trend of people running barefoot thanks to the publication of Christopher McDougall's book Born to Run. The literature saw the practice see a surge in popularity with the Barefoot Runners Society in the US claiming that it had doubled its membership numbers from 680 in November 2009 to 1,345 in November 2010.

However, those that do run in this manner are being warned of the potential health problems that can come with it and are advised to be extra careful when on their daily jogs.

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written by Alex Franklin StortfordADNFCR-1780-ID-801626235-ADNFCR

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