Varicose Veins: Why Standing & Sitting are So Bad for You (and What to Do About It)
When it comes to developing varicose veins, the risk factors run the gamut from family history and aging to pregnancy, obesity, and leg trauma. But what you might not realize is that standing and sitting all day at work or due to a generally sedentary lifestyle are also risk factors.
By putting excessive pressure on your legs, standing and sitting for extended periods of time can cause blood to pool in your leg veins, which increases the pressure within the veins – weakening the walls of the veins and damaging the valves. When this happens, veins can become varicose and cause venous insufficiency – making it more difficult for your blood to be pumped back up to the heart from your lower body.
If you have a desk job or one that requires long hours spent on your feet, varicose veins aren’t inevitable. And there are some things you can do to reduce your risk, like:
- Wearing compression socks. They help squeeze the calf muscles around the veins and help blood move more easily back toward the heart.
- Sitting and standing. If you have the option to get an adjustable-height desk or a standing desk that you can use with a taller chair, you can alternate between sitting and standing throughout the day.
- Stretching out your calves. By doing standing calf raises, toe touches or just flexing your calves, you can improve your circulation.
- Perfecting your walk-and-talk. If, every time you take a call you take a walk (even if it’s just within the confines of your cubicle), you can keep the blood flowing.
- Loosening up. Tight clothing might look good, but it’s rarely good for you. By causing your body to contort in subtle, unnatural ways it can restrict your circulation and increase your risks for developing varicose veins.
Although not all varicose veins can be prevented, genetics does, after all, play a part in their development, you can take preventive measures that will reduce your risk of developing them. By taking a balanced approach to your day, and including standing, sitting, walking and stretching while you’re at work, you can keep your legs healthy now, and for years to come. However, if you’re already seeing symptoms of varicose veins, we can help. Visit us at vispdocs.com, or call 928.771.8477 for more information.