Prolonged standing is described as uncomfortable by exposed workers, but the discomfort has not been linked to precise descriptions of workplace activity. We observed 10 sales and kitchen workers ("group 1") who worked standing. We compared the plantar pain-pressure threshold (PPT) of "group 1" (10 standing workers) to that of "group 2" (11 researchers who could choose their posture freely). Group 1 spent an average time of 62% standing still compared to 5% for group 2. Despite the fact that group 1 were primarily confined to defined areas and stood for 62% of the time, their mean time standing still was only 7 s. They walked 35% of the time, but 57% of walking sequences were only one or two steps. Group 1 PPT declined by 23% over the work day compared to 5% among group 2 (p < 0.05, ANOVA). Foot PPT is a promising quantitative indicator of effects of standing work.