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Could working from home lead to varicose veins?

Continuing to work from home following the pandemic offers many conveniences, but it may have some negative health implications as well.

Sitting for too long, especially while comfortable and relaxed in your home office or at the kitchen table, can cast a sedentary cadence to your day.

A work-from-home lifestyle lacks some of the regular movement and physical activity that comes with working at an office space and may create bad habits. Here’s some examples:

  • Sitting at your desk longer than a typical work day if you were in the office and had to leave each night
  • Less movement throughout the day walking hallways or changing floors to reach a printer, copier, conference room, or cafeteria since most of these things are just steps away at home
  • No extra steps gained if you are not parking your car, or walking to a bus or train, to arrive at work via your daily commute
  • Potentially frequent and mindless snacking with your home kitchen so nearby

A study conducted in Japan last year supports the theory that time spent sitting while working at home during the pandemic was greater than time spent sitting while away at a workplace.

Infrequent daily activity and sedentary habits could lead to serious orthopedic issues (like back and neck pain), obesity or diabetes, and poor circulation.

Poor circulation and prolonged sitting are major causes of varicose veins, one of the most common deep venous disorders that we treat at VeinSolutions.

Varicose veins occur when blood is pumped insufficiently up to the heart and pools within the vein structure (typically in the legs) resulting in bulging, discolored formations under the skin. If left untreated, varicose veins can cause aches and pains, swelling, and fatigue in the legs.

How to Prevent Varicose Veins When Working From Home

Here are five ways to improve circulation and help prevent varicose veins when working from home:

  1. Schedule physical breaks into your workday, at least once per hour. Get up to stretch, walk around the house, or do a set of quick repetitions of easy movements by your desk, like jumping jacks, squats, or toe-touches.
  2. Find an online workout that you enjoy and commit to it during your would-be morning or evening commute if you were traveling to the office.
  3. Drink plenty of water throughout the day and make healthy snack choices like grabbing a piece of fruit or cut-up veggies, both of which are helpful for staying hydrated. Hydration is a key factor in promoting good circulation.
  4. Consider wearing compression stockings which provide gentle pressure on the legs and encourage blood flow back up to the heart.
  5. Try using an exercise/balance ball in place of a chair to keep moving/ bouncing throughout the day.

If you notice leg or ankle pains, fatigue, swelling or a physical presence of varicose veins,  contact us here for a consultation with one of our board-certified vascular surgeons and vein specialists. VeinSolutions offers many convenient and effective treatment options for varicose vein removal.

To schedule a varicose vein appointment in Austin, please call 512.452.VEIN (8346), or call 512.501.4287 for our clinic in Georgetown.

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