Research reveals 1 in 2 Australians have had their lives negatively affected by lower limb pain.

Foot Health Week (12-18 October) aims to help people get back on track by understanding their foot health and the important role of podiatrists. New research commissioned by the Australian Podiatry Association has uncovered a significant shift in footwear behaviour as more Australians find themselves working from home in 2020, resulting in discomfort, pain, and loss of mobility.

The research revealed that over the last few months, 70% of Australians have worn less supportive shoes (or are going barefoot) and 1 in 3 people have noticed an increase of pain or discomfort in their feet and lower limbs, resulting in (27%) reduced daily walking, (20%) no exercising, (18%) difficulty sleeping and (16%) not participating in leisurely activities such walking a dog or playing with their kids.

This Foot Health Week the Australian Podiatry Association is launching a national health campaign aimed at helping Australians better understand their foot health and the important role Podiatrists play in overall wellbeing and getting Australians back on their feet and living pain free, especially postCOVID lock down.

Commenting on the recent findings, Charlotte Bodell, Podiatrist, and member of the Australian Podiatry Association of Australia, noted that over the last few months patients have come to her with increased lower limb pain due to a change in footwear behaviour. Charlotte says people need to be aware of the importance of wearing suitable footwear and understand the short- and long-term implications of neglecting your foot health.

“The research found that 62% of people who regularly visit a podiatrist have discontinued appointments since the beginning of the COVID period and 36% of people have noticed an increase in pain. It’s important that patients are conscious to seek advice from their podiatrist not only when they are in pain and to look at their health holistically by considering visiting a podiatrist as regularly you would a dentist or optometrist,” Charlotte says.

This Foot Health Week podiatrists are also calling on Australians to not only consider their foot health when in pain but to understand that foot health underpins the general health and wellbeing of every Australian. The research results found that one in four patients had an underlining health issue identified by their podiatrist, including circulatory issues (38%), diabetes (27%) or heart problems (22%).

“Foot health is often an indicator for other serious health conditions/concerns. This tells us that the research results go beyond the implications of the recent pandemic and highlight the importance of the message that podiatrists across Australia are sharing this Foot Health Week,” says Charlotte. With healthy feet being the foundations of the body there has never been a better time to actively consider and care for your feet.

This Foot Health Week (October 12-18, 2020), Australians are encouraged to get back on track, starting with their feet. Take one step at a time for fit feet and a better you.


The Australian Podiatry Association recommends seeing a podiatrist if you:

  • Have painful feet
  • Experience leg pain
  • Have painful knees
  • Experience sore hips
  • Find walking or standing uncomfortable
  • Experience leg or foot pain during sport
  • Need advice on correct footwear
  • Worried about your child’s feet or their movement
  • Noticed a change in your mobility


Additional findings from the research include:

  • 95% of those who have seen a podiatrist say that their condition (pain and/or movement) improved after seeing a podiatrist
  • Cost is one of the largest prohibitive factors in seeing a podiatrist with 45% identifying financerelated concerns preventing them from seeing a podiatrist. Although, 76% of people were unaware that some podiatry services are Government funded through the CDM plan (Chronic Disease Management)
  • 2 out of 3 people have never received advice on correct footwear
  • More than 50% of Australians have had their lives negatively affected by lower limb pain


For more information visit: foothealthaustralia.org.au – ENDS –

For further information or media enquiries, please contact: Anuna Flaherty / anuna.flaherty@healthhaus.net.au / 0431 166 964



The Australian Podiatry Association is the largest and oldest peak body representing podiatry and promoting foot health in Australia. As the leading provider of quality continuing education for podiatrists, we support our members with opportunities to develop their professional career, uphold standards and build connections. We are committed to the advancement of podiatry to improve foot health in the community. The positive impact of podiatric care changes the lives of one in five Australians who suffer from foot pain.


Charlotte Bodell is a Sydney-based podiatrist who works in private practice with two focuses, biomechanics, and home visits. Charlotte began her career working for the National Health Service (NHS), the UK public health system and has been working in Australia since 2008. She is passionate about sport and the neutral alignment of the body and ensures her patients receive the highest possible care. Charlotte graduated from Huddersfield University in the UK in 2005 and completed the Advanced Pharmacology for Podiatrists (Access 4 drugs) in 2013 at the University of South Australia. She is a member of the Australian Podiatry Association. Charlotte provides services including but not limited to biomechanical/gait assessment, 3D foot scans, postural assessments, orthotics, shockwave therapy and -diabetic and vascular assessments.


Foot Health Week is a nationally recognised health awareness campaign that will run from October 12-18 with the theme, ‘Get Back on Track – Fit feet for a better you!’ and will highlight how podiatrists help those who are inactive or limited by pain, get back to movement.

October 12, 2020


Posted by: Renae Kilmister