You may have heard the old wives’ tale that crossing your legs causes varicose veins. But does it? According to a new study that examined what causes varicose veins, it simply isn’t true.
While once thought that sitting with your legs crossed at the knee was a contributing factor in spider veins and varicose veins, a new study released by the journal Blood Pressure Monitoring shows no direct connection between how a person sits and varicose veins.
Instead, the study found that it’s not how you sit that’s important to your vascular health, but for how long you sit. Prolonged periods of inactivity can force your veins to work harder to pump the blood back to the heart, which can be a major cause of varicose veins.
For office workers of all ages, the threat of inactivity is pervasive. Doctors warn against sitting at a desk for several uninterrupted hours, but for many that’s hard to avoid.
To help stave off periods of prolonged inactivity, doctors promote doing minor exercises or activities throughout the day to keep your body active and your blood flowing. Doctors recommend a few minutes of activity every hour to stave off the many health risks that come with remaining sedentary.
Top 6 Tips on How to Fight Causes of Varicose Veins at Work
- Do toe raises. Stand by your desk 2-4 minutes every hour and perform toe raises repeatedly while holding on to your chair or desk for balance. This activates the gastrocnemius muscle pump for venous blood return to the heart.”
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Exercise your leg muscles by taking the stairs whenever possible, especially if you’re only travelling a few floors.
- Use an exercise ball instead of a chair. Keep your core muscles working by sitting on an exercise ball instead of a chair. Other benefits include better balance and improved posture.
- Set an alarm. Many people get engrossed in their work. It can be helpful to set an alarm or reminder to tell you when to stop working and take a short break, which could include a walk around the office or the office building.
- Walk, don’t call. Over the course of the day, we all send countless inter-office emails or phone calls. Instead, take the opportunity to walk across the office for a face-to-face conversation instead of calling.
- Have walking meetings. Pretend you’re in an episode of The West Wing and hold a few meetings while walking throughout the building.
Varicose veins are a serious venous disease and should be handled with precaution. VasCare clinics have extensive experience in diagnosing and treating varicose veins and chronic venous disease. Contact us today to request an appointment and learn more about varicose veins treatment options