Flat feet is a medical condition that is very common. Flat feet affect millions of people around the world. We often get to hear that people with flat feet can not apply for job vacancies in security and armed forces. Some people even feel that it’s nothing but simply a myth.
Well, the first thing first. It is true that Army and other security forces do not employ people with flat feet.
Lack of proper arch in the foot sole causes flat feet condition. As a result, your entire sole comes in touch with ground when you stand. We may not realize it but this arch plays a very important role in maintaining balance in our body. This arch also adsorbs shock as you do activities like running or jumping.
Army personnel have to go through a rigorous physical regimen. A person with flat feet will not be able to cope with such activities. If foot arch is not fully developed it will not act as a shock absorber, instead shock will be absorb by the spine. This can cause problems in the back. Also, flat foot can cause pain in foot which in turn will again hamper athletic abilities of the person. Initially there would be pain in heel, ankle and knee. Then there could be muscular pain in calf muscles. As the condition deteriorates, pain and injury will progress to hip and spine. Therefore, persons with flat feet are advised to refrain from exhausting physical activities like running, carrying weight and jumping.
Army does not only disqualifies people with flat feet. Even people with over-arched feet are also disqualified. So, in order to get an employment in Army, you need to have foot arches in a specific range. A surgical expert on the medical board of the Army decides whether the arches are in good range.
Is Flat Foot a Disqualification in Army All Over the World?
No. Although Indian Army and other Indian armed forces disqualify people with flat feet or over-arched feet, it is not so everywhere in the world.
A study by Royal Australian Air Force in 2005 proved that the personnel with flat feet are equally effective as their normal feet counterparts. A later study of 449 U.S. Navy special warfare trainees found no significant difference in the incidence of stress fractures among sailors and Marines with different arch heights.
However, Indian armed forces still follow the practice of not hiring flat feet people. In India, flat feet is not considered a disability.
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