The Institute for Preventive Foot Health (IPFH) is a non-profit private foundation committed to raising awareness about the importance of caring for the feet through education, research and the identification of methods demonstrated by clinical research to prevent, treat and manage painful conditions and diseases affecting the feet, mobility, functional status and quality of life.
According to the 2012 National Foot Health Assessment conducted for IPFH by The NPD Group, Inc.,a staggering 78 percent of adults in the United States have experienced foot pain or foot problems in their lifetimes. These problems are serious enough to interfere with a person’s ability to work, exercise or enjoy a full, healthy lifestyle.
Foot problems often increase with age. By age 50, the average person will have walked or run 75,000 miles, primarily on hard, unnatural surfaces (for example, concrete, asphalt and hard floors). Over time, this contributes to the breakdown of the skin and protective fat pads that support the balls, heels and toes of the foot.
IPFH was founded to help educate and inform people about ways to reduce foot pain, or eliminate it altogether, through proper foot care, footwear and biomechanics. From 1989 through 1993, seven groundbreaking clinical studies were conducted by medical doctors and podiatrists related to major conditions that negatively affect the human foot, including diabetes (causing neuropathy and ulceration), arthritis (causing pain), and blisters.