As the Nigerian celebrity chef, Hilda Effiong Bassey, aka Hilda Baci, awaits the confirmation of her feat by the Guinness World Records, experts have zeroed in on the extended and unusual time she was on her feet while the 100-hour cooking marathon lasted.
Hilda had originally announced her desire to beat the 87-hour 45-minute record of Indian record holder Lata Tondon with a 96-hour cooking spree, but her fans successfully convinced her to make it to 100 hours, which she did.
What is more, she achieved the feat while standing up most of the time throughout the four-day cook-a-thon.
An existing health problem, such as sciatica related to a back problem or painful joints due to rheumatism, can be exacerbated by prolonged standing
Health risks associated with standing for too long
While researchers say the act of standing exercises muscles in your abdomen, butt and legs that are necessary to keep you upright for an extended period, scientists also warn about the possible consequences of standing for too long, as Hilda had obviously done over the past four days.
A study published in the journal Ergonomics notes that some health risks are associated with standing for too long.
Prolonged standing is defined as over eight hours of standing per day without a lot of movement and walking around. And the following are some of the associated health risks:
- Lower back pain
- Issues with leg muscles and tendons
- Chronic venous insufficiency
- Discomfort and reduced reaction time
- May cause blood to pool in the legs and feet
- Blood pooling may progress over time to chronic and painful varicose veins and inflammation
- Causes the joints in the spine, hips, knees, and feet to become temporarily immobilized
- Reduces the blood supply to the loaded muscles
- Insufficient blood flow accelerates onset of fatigue and causes discomfort in the muscles of the legs, back and neck
- Can cause sore feet, swelling of the legs, varicose veins, general muscular fatigue, low back pain, stiffness in the neck and shoulders
- Chronic venous insufficiency, musculoskeletal pain of the lower back
- Preterm birth
- Low blood pressure
- Upper and lower leg pain
- Spontaneous abortion
Weight loss gain
Indeed, experts say you burn twice as many calories when you stand than when you sit. And that humans burn one calorie a minute sitting, two calories standing, four walking. Despite these obvious advantages of standing, the unanimous submission is that you should try to stand for at least two hours per day, but up to four hours per day could be optimal.
In other words, standing for eight hours a day is a no-no, and definitely unexpected to go on for four straight days as did the Guinness World Records-chasing Hilda Baci.
Hilda Baci obviously moved around her kitchen while the cook-a-thon lasted, though this hardly deducted from the rigours of being on her feet for four straight days.
How can Hilda Baci regain her mojo?
In order to fully restore health to her feet and, indeed, her entire body after the 100-hour marathon standing, experts counsel as follows:
Elevate your feet
Get home, get comfy, and lay on the couch with feet up above your heart. This relieves the leg veins of working as hard, giving the lower body circulation the time it needs to rest and recover.
Invert your body
You can completely invert your body with a few yoga inversions. Lie on your back with your glutes to the baseboard and legs up the wall.
Compress your calves
Compression stockings are specially designed to apply pressure to your lower legs, helping to maintain blood flow and reduce discomfort and swelling. But if you feel uncomfortable in them at any time, then remove them. The point isn’t to cut off circulation. The point is to help your circulation.
Soak your feet
A quality foot soak has many benefits. Grab yourself a tub of hot water. Add some epsom salt and essential oils of your choosing. Now sit back and relax.
The magnesium in the epsom salt is long known to help alleviate muscle tension. And the essential oils, especially lavender or chamomile, will help you to relax and relieve stress.
Get a massage
If you can squeeze it into your schedule and budget, then put a massage on the books.
Chiropractic offices sometimes offer massage therapy, which can be provided as a medical service. These would be the perfect types of massages to help relieve lower limb fatigue since they’re more treatment-based than the general relaxation massage.
Information sources: Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety; European Agency for Safety & Health At Work; The Standing Desk; Sundried; Ergonomics