standing increases risks for varicose veinsA study conducted in 2005 by Occupational and Environmental Medicine suggests individuals who stand for more than 75% of the time at work are more prone to developing varicose veins. Listed below are 5 reasons supporting this finding and helping us to understand the relationship between standing and varicose veins.

  1. Standing for extended periods of time can cause blood to pool in the leg veins.
  2. When blood pools in the leg veins this causes increased pressure within the veins.
  3. Any vein is likely to stretch as a result of increased pressure.
  4. The walls of a vein may become weakened if a vein is stretched.
  5. Valves within leg veins may also become weakened if a vein is stretched disrupting the flow of blood.

With all of this in mind, if you have a job requiring substantial time on your feet here are some tips to keep in mind:

  1. Wear comfortable shoes that fit.
  2. If possible, use a high stool to sit periodically.
  3. Change positions frequently by walking around, stretching, or shifting your weight while standing.
  4. If you stand on a hard floor, cover the floor with a rubber mat or rug.
  5. Practice good posture.
  6. Support panty hose or compression stockings can help alleviate pressure on the legs during prolonged standing.

It is important to note, if you do stand for 75% or more of your working day you are more likely to develop varicose veins. Pay close attention to signs of spider or varicose veins and have open conversations with your primary care physician regarding any symptoms you may be experiencing.