Ask The Experts
I am in very good physical health and have normal feet when home exercising on a daily basis. However, when I travel, whether by car or plane, my feet swell. At first I thought it was a result of air travel and being seated for hours. However, the same occurs when traveling by car. Again, perhaps sitting too long is the answer. Then again, I sit at a computer for most of the day and nothing happens.
You've actually already figured this one out for yourself. Gravity takes its toll. Body fluids tend to find their lowest point - your feet - and "pool" there. So you may start out the day with "normal" feet, but at the end of the day - especially if you've been sedentary - your feet may swell. That's why you should always use an integrated approach to sizing and fitting padded socks, inserts (if you need them) and shoes, and you should get fitted and purchase those three components as a "system" toward the end of the day if possible. That way you'll size your padded socks/inserts/shoes to fit your feet when they're at their largest size and the padded sock will act like a gasket that will fill up any space in the shoe when your feet are "smaller" earlier in the day. As far as the circumstances you mentioned, when driving you might consider stopping every few hours and getting out of your car to walk around for a bit, or on that airplane you might stand up and walk up and down the aisle to try and reduce the amount of swelling you experience. Those intermittent activities may help minimize your swelling. You might also ask your doctor if it would be okay for you to wear a pair of graduated compression hosiery when you travel. If he or she says it's all right, the compression hosiery will help keep the blood moving up your legs even when you're inactive during travel. And even though you sit at a computer for most of the day and may not be aware of it, your feet really are swelling as the day progresses - perhaps just not enough for you to notice. Think about your day. Perhaps you really do move around at your work station more than you think (if not, then be conscious of the need to get up and move around at least every few hours so that you don't experience too much swelling). We hope this information helps. Remember to practice preventive foot care essentials at home and at work.