There is an interesting phenomenon that has caught my attention as a personal trainer: external hip rotation. I.E. Duck Feet. Maybe you've seen it too, but didn't know that it is correctable. In the picture to the left, you see 2 feet, one in a 12" tile for reference to the amount of rotation. Some people have feet rotated out even more than that.
What is happening? People are sitting more. While sitting, their legs relax outward. For people whose jobs have them seated for several hours at a time, some muscles become tight and the opposing muscle groups are relaxed. There are muscles in the interior of the hip attached to the hip joint and across to the vertebrae of the spine in the low back area that cause the legs to pull together or apart, rotate inward and outward. The muscles attached to the vertebrae pull at the low back. The abdominal and back muscles are weak so there isn't the amount of support needed for the back as well. This causes low back pain.
With the feet rotated outward, hip and knee pain as well as flattened arches result. Those small things on the ends of our legs support all of our body weight. Stress is caused to the knee due to uneven loading of body weight and wears down the knee joint causing arthritis over time. The hips have an uneven load as well since the muscles to the outside of the hip have to work more to support with less strength. Pinpoint pain at the hip joint results. Also uneven wear to the outside of the hip joint causes arthritis over time. The feet now are no longer handling the body weight propelling forward or standing, as the toes were designed to do. The arches take the brunt of the load causing the arches to overpronate, or flatten. Arthritis forms in the inside of the ankle and big toe, while the little toe compensates when it shouldn't have to do. All of this being said, from the waist down, the body is messed up!
The fix: Set heels directly under the hips. Rotate on the heels to point the toes forward. Consciously do this whenever you stand to wait. When you are seated, put your feet flat on the floor with the toes pointed forward. If this is uncomfortable, do the first 2 steps. Then carefully and slowly rotate on the heel to point the toes inward, then outward. 10 reps each foot 2x a day. This will help coax the muscles to cooperate.
Other things to include: squats, lunges (use floor tiles or lines to align feet correctly), ab curls, and back extensions. Stretch afterward! This process can take 2-3 months of faithful work before you see the fruit of your labor. Stay steady and mark it on your calendar. Lead on toes! God bless!