If you have varicose veins – or if you’re worried you might get them in the future – you’ve probably seen all the data that show how bad it can be to sit for long periods of time. In fact, numerous studies have shown how long periods of being sedentary can be bad for your health in multiple ways, increasing not only your risk for developing varicose veins but your risks for heart disease, obesity and diabetes as well. All that research may have led you to one conclusion: If sitting at a desk all day long is bad for you, standing up must be better. Sounds logical right? And in fact, it’s that reasoning that’s led to the popularity of so-called standing desks, designed to allow you to stand instead of sit while you work.
But now, researchers are rethinking that approach, and they’ve decided all that standing may not be such a good idea after all – and actually, it could actually increase your risk for varicose veins (and possibly other medical issues as well).
Varicose Veins at Work
Varicose veins occur when the very small valves inside your veins stop functioning the way they’re supposed to. Normally, they open and close rapidly, pushing blood forward, back to the heart. When they malfunction, blood slows down and can even flow backward or collect behind the valves, resulting in bulging, ugly varicose veins. Many early studies have shown long periods of both sitting and standing can increase the risk of developing these veins – sitting still reduces circulation overall, which increases the pressure inside the veins while standing places excess pressure on the veins of the lower legs, buttocks, and feet. And that, in turn, can significantly increase the risk of developing varicose veins in those areas.
A study from Denmark looked specifically at the effect of standing for long periods of time at work and found that of the roughly 9,000 people evaluated, the risk of being hospitalized for varicose veins was significantly higher than among those who did not stand for long periods of time.
Workplace Solutions for Varicose Veins
If standing desks won’t help you prevent varicose veins at work, what can you do to improve your vein health? Here are three easy options:
- Get up and move. Schedule occasional breaks from sitting to stand, stretch and walk for a few minutes – even if it means walking in place. Walking is still one of the best things you can do for your circulation, and it should be your top priority for improving vein health at work.
- Rotate your ankles. Sounds almost too simple to work, but simply rotating your ankles in circles – first one way, then the other – can help improve blood flow and reduce swelling in your ankles.
- Do some calf raises. The muscles in your calves play an important role in gently “squeezing” your veins to keep blood flowing. You can five those muscles a boost simply by flexing them regularly. With your feet flat on the floor, raise your feet up on your toes. Press your toes into the floor and hold for a few seconds, then release.
If you can, try to link these activities to something else you do routinely, like saving a file for instance. Linking a new habit to an old one is a good way to avoid forgetting your new routine.
State-of-the-Art Florida Vein Treatment
If you have varicose veins or if you think you’re at risk for developing them, seeing a vein treatment specialist is the best way to prevent serious circulation problems that could have a major impact on your vein health and your overall health as well. Vein911 Vein Treatment Centers offer comprehensive vein treatment solutions for men and women in and around Tampa, St. Petersburg and Clearwater, providing customized treatment plans based on each patient’s needs to help them achieve better vein health at every age. Don’t ignore your varicose veins. Call Vein911 Vein Treatment Centers at 855-396-9911 and schedule your free vein evaluation today.