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Sitting down and varicose veins

by – July 30, 2015

Sitting down and varicose veins

Sitting at an office desk for hours on end is very common for a lot of people. Contrary to popular belief, sitting down does not cause varicose veins.

Sitting down and varicose veins

Leg muscles that pump blood are not used very much when you sit down


When you sit for an extended period of time, the muscles in your legs that normally help pump blood are not used very much. For people with varicose veins or hidden varicose veins, this means that the blood will fall backwards down the leg veins.  The blood can then pool in the lower leg, causing swelling, skin damage and the risk of visible varicose veins.

To maintain healthy legs and to keep venous conditions at bay, make sure that you walk as much as possible. At work, make sure you stand up every 30 minutes and pump your calves by rising onto your toes repeatedly for 60 seconds. Keeping mobile around the office whenever possible, can make a difference.

Walking makes the muscle pumps in the legs work far more effectively than virtually anything else, so make sure you walk as much as possible. Maybe go for a lunch time stroll and take the stairs instead of the lift if possible.

When we walk, the foot pump, calf pump and thigh pump are all activated to pump the venous blood out of the leg. This reduces pressure at the ankles, clears the capillaries and allows new arterial blood to flow into the tissue. This will keep the vein wall nice and healthy and reduce the risk of other conditions such as phlebitis or deep vein thrombosis. It is also generally good for bones, joints, muscles and the cardiovascular system.

Varicose veins are a condition which affects up to 30% of the UK population.

If you suspect that you may have varicose veins, then you must have a venous duplex ultrasound to help identify the underlying cause. some indicators of varicose veins are :

  • Swelling of ankles and feet
  • Tired and aching legs
  • Dry skin around the ankles
  • Spider and thread veins




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