Varicose veins are a result of the inability to circulate blood throughout the body. If there are any issues that hinder free blood flow, blood valves within veins may be damaged or stop working. If the valves are closed off, blood pools in the vein which results in veins that are visible through your skin. Both standing and sitting for long periods of time are common causes of varicose veins, and can increase your risk of developing a venous disorder.
We don’t always have the luxury of choosing where we work or what we end up doing professionally, but we can be proactive in varicose vein prevention. The following professions are at a greater risk of developing varicose veins, so if you’re in one of them take caution and make changes if needed.
Jobs that require standing all day
- Teachers – with teaching you are afforded the benefit of moving around the classroom and not completely standing still the whole day, but it can still cause blood in your veins to stay stagnant. Invest in some good shoes and involve your students in some activity to get everyone’s blood moving — after all the students are the ones sitting all day!
- Nurses – nurses are on their feet the entire day, and it’s often for extended periods beyond the typical eight hour work day. Nurses are often bombarded with patients, which doesn’t allow for much rest.
- Servers – serving does involve a lot of hustle and bustle in a fast paced environment, but long hours on hard flooring can add up.
- Hairdressers – stylists stay pretty stationary since their clients have no need to be up and about. Hairdressers are in high demand and often have clients back-to-back for eight or more hours a day standing in the same spot.
Grocery store clerks – this job isn’t as intuitive as the others, but think about the clerks; they stand in one spot using their upper body to ring up grocery items, but stand in the same spot all day long.
Jobs that require sitting all day
- Office jobs (marketing, accounting, software developers, designers, etc) – these jobs often call for long hours in a stressful environment. Moving about can be difficult especially if there is a lot of pressure to perform.
- Drivers – truck drivers, in particular, sit for extended periods while on the road. They’re often tired and overworked, so getting out to move can be daunting.
- Judges – In addition to being a public servant and listening to people’s issues, judges have to sit all day. Hearings are often scheduled back-to-back, which leaves little time for them to walk or move around.
Varicose vein prevention
Whether you are standing or sitting all day varicose veins appear from a lack of blood circulation. Overall, it’s all about movement. Take sitting or standing breaks depending on your job, and give your legs a rest. When you’re at home try putting your feet up on the wall, at a 90 degree angle. The blood is then able to circulate in the other direction. You may also want to invest in trampoline (mini or the backyard kind). Jumping on a trampoline is one of the best ways to move and circulate blood and lymph fluids.
Other than moving more and more frequently, compression stockings can be helpful. They are tighter than normal socks and promote healthy blood circulation. The shoes you wear can also make a difference, so if you had to choose between heels and flats, choose flats. Heels keep your calf muscles engaged at all times and it decreases your body’s efficiency of circulating blood.
If you’re concerned about the appearance of your varicose veins, or are worried that you may have a venous disorder, schedule an appointment with Venocure today.