Get moving: Why you should not sit all day

girl and computer

Did you know that the average person spends as many as 10 hours a day sitting? If you are an office professional, attorney, accountant, or writer, you might spend even more hours a day sitting at a desk.

Being sedentary for too many hours is not good for the venous system, because sitting creates pressure in the legs and lower extremities. This reduces the ability of the circulatory system to move blood properly through the body.

When you sit all day the muscles that support the veins relax, and they can become weak. The weaker the muscles, the harder the veins must work to circulate blood, otherwise blood will pool in your legs. Sitting for long periods also can lead to serious health conditions, including deep vein thrombosis and clotting.

Get moving

It is important for those who cannot avoid sitting for long hours to reduce their chance of developing varicose veins – or, for those already diagnosed with varicose veins, to minimize their effect.

  • Spend a few minutes every hour or two performing low-impact exercises. Take a walk around the block or your office building. Stand up and stretch. Walk up and down a flight of stairs a couple of times.
  • Use a stool or footrest to elevate your feet and legs when you are at your desk. Sitting with your legs elevated helps to 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 workday, it feels great too.
  • At the end of a long day elevate your legs. Blood will naturally move away from your feet and ankles where it pools and can create swelling.
  • During the day, alternate sitting and standing as often as possible. If you have a standing desk, use it. However, standing for long periods of time can have the exact same results as sitting for hours on end, particularly if your legs already have insufficient blood flow.
  • When you are not in the office, be sure to stay moderately active, assuming you are physically able.

If you know you are going to be sitting for long periods or are unable to get up and move around due to health reasons, consider wearing compression socks. These socks improve blood flow by gently squeezing your legs causing blood to move through your lower extremities.

If you are experiencing symptoms of varicose veins, such as heavy tired legs and achiness, or you want to reduce the appearance of unsightly varicose veins, San Diego Vein Institute can help.

San Diego Vein Institute is located at 336 Encinitas Boulevard, Suite 130, Encinitas, CA 92024. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call (760) 944-9263 or visit