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IMPROPER FOOTWEAR CAN COST EMPLOYERS MILLIONS

In an article written by Marilyn Linton appearing in The Toronto Sun, March 15, 1998, she begins “If Cinderella were baby boomer, chances are she’d be wearing orthotics in her glass slippers”. Linton points out that more and more of us are suffering the consequences of years of ill-fitting footwear and turning to in-shoe devices known as foot orthotics. Bad footwear, exercises, obesity and aging all contribute to the thinning of the fat pads that cushion the bones of the feet, causing the feet to ache. “Toot experts agree that if shoes fit better, orthotics might be obsolete”, reports Linton.

Hundreds of dollars can be charged for orthotics, and its costing employers millions of dollars.

According to the Ontario Podiatric Medical Association, in the average lifetime we walk approximately 184,000 kilometers, more than four times the earth’s circumference! This is not including the number of hours we are standing on our feet. Footwear is important, as /80% of people will experience a foot problem at some time in their life.

According to the OPMA, improper footwear can lead to hundreds of foot ailments, as well as knee, hip and lower back pain. Along with obesity and exercise, it is highly suspected that improper footwear has also contributed to the dramatic rise in chiropractic claims.

Experts in the health benefits field have confirmed the astronomical increase in claims for foot orthotics as well as for services of podiatrists, chiropodists and chiropractors. Orthotics claims have been described as “off the map” by one of the maj0or health benefit carriers, and are numbering in the millions for Daimler Chrysler, Ford Motor Co. and General Motors alone.

To make matters worse, Podiatrist series are partially covered under OHIP, however, theses services are expected to be delisted in the future, resulting in additional costs being passed on to employers. Services provided by a Chiropodist are not covered by OHIP.

We urge you to contact your health benefits carrier to check your claims experience for foot orthotics, as well as for services provided by podiatrists, Chiropodists and chiropractors.

Experts in the health industry agree that this is just the tip of the iceberg and these claims are expected to increase dramatically in the very near future. You may see an increase in claims for your employees in the near future.

It is our intention to educate both employers and workers on the hazards of improper footwear. By utilizing on our proactive footwear programs we can provide your employees with safety and comfort. With different options available to you, not only will you be providing a valuable service to your employees, but will have the potential to save thousands, perhaps even millions of dollars in future claims.

Stacey Laursen
Sika Footwear International
Maxikap International Inc.
1-888-298-7097

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