Apr 25, 2023
Are you one of those people who sit still most of your day? Sitting a lot during the day can cause stiff and swollen legs. Is this you? You're not alone!
Legs and feet swelling up when you sit still is because blood circulation is inhibited if you don't move at regular intervals. We live an increasingly sedentary life both during working hours but also at home. Many tasks in an office are performed in front of a screen, which means that the work is tied to a location. Then it is important that you have the chance to switch between sitting and standing, and to move several times a day. We often get around by car, bus or train and when we get home it's easy to end up in front of the TV or computer.
Risks of being sedentary
Our bodies are designed to be in motion, but today it is said that we spend approximately 60 percent of our waking hours sitting still. This is because many people spend most of their working days sitting, which in turn leads to many having problems with stiff necks, backaches and swollen, heavy legs and feet. Today we also know that prolonged sitting still is not good for our health. It is said that it also increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases and diabetes and that sitting still is a health risk in the same class as smoking, stress and high blood pressure! These risks are reduced if you take frequent breaks and move around.
Sedentary lifestyle as a medical term
There has been some research into prolonged sitting. Sedentary lifestyle is a medical term that means there is no physical activity in the major muscle groups. Research shows that longer periods of sitting still, despite other physical activity, pose clear health risks. Broadly speaking, this means that if you sit still for long periods, you have an increased risk of, for example, heart and vascular diseases, obesity, type 2 diabetes and impaired blood circulation, even though you exercise regularly.
Small short breaks and everyday exercise
Reducing your sedentary time by trying to add moments of movement reduces the health risks that arise from prolonged sitting, such as putting on dangerous excess weight. Standing up at your desk or actively choosing the stairs instead of the elevator can be crucial. It is precisely the low-intensity everyday activity that breaks the sedentary lifestyle that has the most positive effect.
Small, short breaks from the desk also reduce the risk of putting on dangerous excess weight. In recent years, researchers have discovered that sedentary work leads to a deficit of energy. Energy deficit means that a person does not get rid of enough energy compared to how much energy they take in through food and drink. This energy deficit can lead to problems with weight. Being overweight often leads to swollen legs and feet.
Create natural leg stretchers in the workplace
- Alternate sitting and standing at desk
- Place the printer far from your workplace so you have to get up every time you print
- Short leg stretches every 30 minutes
- Sit on a pilates ball
- Take a short walk at lunch
- Walk up to the colleague and talk instead of picking up the phone
- Drink a lot and go to the toilet often
Movement to and from work
- Take the stairs instead of the elevator
- Open the garage door manually instead of with the remote control
- Get off the bus one stop earlier
Impaired blood circulation when sitting still
Planning small short breaks during long periods of sitting still is therefore important. These interruptions when you move have been shown to have positive effects on blood circulation and counteract swollen legs and feet. We feel good from movements that keep the circulation going. A job where you sit a lot during the day can lead to swollen feet and legs. When you stand up, you should actively move your legs to get the blood circulating. Also take the opportunity to soften the shoulder blades and shoulders with small, careful circular movements.
Compression socks from Funq Wear help blood circulation and counteract swollen legs and feet. Pain in the wrists also becomes increasingly common the more we sit in front of the computer. Try our wrist warmers with light therapeutic support! Match your wrist warmers with our compression socks designed for both suit and casual wear.
Sedentary behavior and ill health – a literature review
The Public Health Authority
Prolonged sitting still - a health hazard over time
Elin Ekblom Bak
The project "Prolonged sitting - a health hazard in time"