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Orthopedics. 1988 Feb;11(2):285-8.

Shoe insoles in the workplace.

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  • 1Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Mayo Clinic and Foundation, Rochester, Minnesota 55905.


Ninety-six women participated in a crossover study to evaluate the effectiveness of viscoelastic polyurethane insoles in reducing back, leg, and foot pain among adults who spend the majority of each work day standing. Twenty-five of the subjects reported that the insoles made their shoes too tight to be comfortable. The remainder, however, found the insoles very comfortable (P less than .002, Wilcoxon, signed-rank test) and reported significant reductions in back pain (P less than .02), foot pain (P less than .03), and leg pain (P less than .007). When these subjects were asked whether they would prefer to wear their shoes alone or with insoles, the preference for insoles was overwhelming (P less than .007, back; P less than .03, leg; and P less than .009, foot pain). It is concluded that viscoelastic insoles can effectively improve comfort and reduce back, leg, and foot pain in individuals who must stand throughout the day.

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