All jobs have an impact on our bodies. Even the most sedentary jobs leave us feeling at least a little bit tired at the end of the day, but jobs where you are on your feet most of the day seem to take an additional toll on your body.
By the end of a long day of standing, you probably feel aches and pains from your feet all the way up your spine, and you know the sense of relief of sitting down and kicking back at the end of the day.
Standing all day doesn’t just wear us out. For some, it increases the risk for vein disease to develop as well. You might have heard how dangerous it can be to sit all day long, but for someone with a predisposition to varicose veins or another vein disease, standing all day can have just as many dangers as sitting for extended periods of time.
Venous Insufficiency, Standing and Vein Disease
If you suffer from chronic venous insufficiency, vein walls are damaged as a result of continued stressors day in and day out. This causes veins to swell and stay filled with blood, especially when standing, because the heart has to work even harder to pump the blood back up to the heart and lungs, fighting gravity the entire time. This pooling of blood in the veins can worsen venous insufficiency, lead to varicose veins, and compromise overall vein integrity.
Just like how sitting can result in varicose veins, deep vein thrombosis and clotting, carotid atherosclerosis, and other vein diseases, if your legs already have insufficient blood flow, standing for long periods of time can have the exact same results as sitting for hours on end.
Avoiding the Issue
There are several ways to manage and prevent vein disease if your job requires you to be on your feet all day long. One way is to get moving. Just moving your legs a little bit makes it much easier for the blood to circulate. Take a little walk, do some easy stretching, and move around to keep the blood from settling in varicose veins or veins with insufficient flow. This can be as easy as walking a quick lap around the office or taking the stairs instead of the elevator; small shifts to make a big difference in the health of your veins.
Two more ways to prevent vein disease from standing all day include losing weight and exercising regularly. Both of these solutions make it easier for blood to circulate by strengthening the heart and lessening the cardiac workload. You can also quit smoking, and cut down on drinking, which helps the heart’s ability to circulate blood as well.
Another way to prevent vein disease is to wear compression socks. These socks improve blood flow and gently squeeze your legs to move blood up your legs. They keep the blood from circulating to the skin’s surface causing swelling, moving it through the veins and back to the lungs to re-oxygenate instead.
Perhaps the most relaxing way to prevent vein disease after a long day of standing is sitting down at the end of the day with your legs elevated. This helps blood to flow, taking the pressure off of your heart and your veins, and reduces swelling. Sitting with your legs elevated helps move blood through varicose veins and cuts down on pain and irritation as well. Not only is it good for your circulation, but after a long work day, it feels great too!
If you are experiencing pain, swelling, or discomfort as a result of vein disease, or if you think standing all day is taking a toll on your vascular health, contact the Johnson Memorial Wound Healing Center at 317.346.2700, or schedule a free screening with an ultrasound tech today to examine vein function and see how you can keep your veins in their very best shape.