Does Reading While Standing Really Cause Foot Odor?

You may have heard claims that reading or standing for prolonged periods can cause foot odor. But is there any truth to this idea? Let’s take a closer look.

The Theory Behind It

The thinking behind this claim is that when you stand for long periods of time, your feet sweat more inside your shoes. This provides an ideal environment for bacteria to multiply and produce unpleasant foot odors.

Additionally, when you’re focused on reading, you may not notice that your feet are sweating. So you don’t have the chance to remove your shoes and let your feet air out.

Some also argue that standing still in one place increases sweat production compared to walking around. The lack of movement and ventilation purportedly increases moisture and bacteria growth.

Is There Any Research on This?

There haven’t been any specific scientific studies on whether reading while standing increases foot odor. However, there has been some research on how prolonged standing affects sweat and odor.

One study looked at sweat rates in people who stood still versus walked on a treadmill. It found sweat rates were higher when standing still. This was attributed to an increase in body temperature from muscular effort while standing.

Other studies have shown increased sweat production and odor in feet that are enclosed in shoes for long periods. Wearing certain types of tight-fitting shoes and socks has also been linked to increased moisture and odor.

So while no research specifically looks at reading while standing, the existing evidence does suggest standing still in shoes for long periods allows sweat to accumulate and odors to develop.

Tips To Prevent Odor If You Must Stand And Read

If you like to read while standing or often find yourself on your feet for long stretches, here are some tips to help prevent foot odor:

  • Wear moisture-wicking socks to soak up sweat. Change them frequently.
  • Choose well-ventilated shoes made of breathable materials. Avoid plastic and rubber shoes.
  • Apply foot powder or spray antiperspirant on your feet before putting on shoes.
  • Take occasional breaks to remove your shoes and let your feet air out.
  • Wash and thoroughly dry your feet daily.
  • Alternate pairs of shoes so each pair has time to fully dry out before wearing again.
  • Apply foot deodorant after washing your feet.
  • Consider shoe inserts designed to fight odor.
  • Clean the insides of your shoes periodically to kill bacteria.
  • Get in the habit of moving your feet and flexing your leg muscles periodically when standing for long periods.

Prolonged standing can lead to increased foot sweat, creating an environment where smelly bacteria thrive inside enclosed shoes. So theoretically, reading while standing could contribute to foot odor if you remain stationary for too long.

However, odor isn’t an inevitable side effect. With some foot hygiene vigilance and proper footwear, you can stand and read for reasonable periods without your feet smelling up the place. Just be sure to take breaks, wear breathable shoes, and implement some of the other odor-fighting tips outlined here.