Foot and ankle disorders in nurses exposed to prolonged standing environments: a scoping review

Rafael A. Bernardes*, Sílvia Caldeira, Pedro Parreira, Liliana B. Sousa, João Apóstolo, Inês F. Almeida, Paulo Santos-Costa, Minna Stolt, Arménio Guardado Cruz

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Background: Prolonged standing environments constitute an occupational risk factor for nurses, particularly for developing foot and ankle disorders. The definitions and potential relationship to hours spent walking or standing are poorly understood. This scoping review aimed to synthesize the main disorders found on nurses’ ankles and feet, their prevalence, the influence of hours spent walking or standing, and gender differences. Methods: This review followed a previously published protocol. Primary and secondary studies were retrieved from relevant databases from December 2020 to March 2021. Potential articles were collated to Mendeley, and two independent reviewers assessed the title and abstracts. Studies meeting inclusion criteria were included. Two researchers retrieved and reviewed the full text of these studies independently. A predetermined extraction tool was used to retrieve relevant data, summarized in a tabular and narrative format. Findings: The most common disorder was pain, followed by numbness, burning feet, bunions, structural deformities, and calluses. Prevalence differed among studies, depending on settings and specific local policies. Discussion: Various foot and ankle disorders and related variables have been found, with clear gaps that may be addressed in the future. Conclusion/Applications to Practice:: Few studies have focused on nurses’ foot and ankle disorders. Mapping signs and symptoms may contribute to the future development of preventive interventions for nurses’ workplaces.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-116
Number of pages16
JournalWorkplace Health and Safety
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2023


  • Ankle injuries
  • Foot diseases
  • Nurses
  • Occupational health
  • Standing position


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