A lot of fuss is made about those who spend a working day sitting in their chairs – the office worker, the receptionist, the driver, the developer. And it’s a fuss that’s entirely justified.
From a health standpoint, the effects of prolonged sitting can be detrimental to our overall wellbeing: largely chalked up to a lack of activity, and the negative effects this has on the heart, our body fat, and our metabolism, not to mention issues with our posture as well.
On the flip side, jobs where frequent standing occurs – retail workers, cleaners, bartenders, engineers, security guards, and a whole host of other positions – seem at a glance to be a bit better for us. Standing does require 10% more energy to perform than sitting, something that will inevitably add up during the day.
But unfortunately, and as anyone who’s been in such professions for a while can probably attest, there are a whole bunch of health issues that can occur for those who spend too much time still and on their feet.
Fortunately, compression socks can help address some of these problems, and before we show you how to get a pair of the best compression socks available – let’s briefly go over these issues.
Health Issues Caused By Prolonged Standing at Work
Although there are plenty of leisure activities where you’ll find yourself standing around, you’re unlikely to spend more time on your feet than at work. It’s here where the real risks are revealed, and it’s something sadly diminished by the constant attention placed on seated jobs.
As we’ve mentioned, standing appears to be superficially healthier. In fact, some recommend that those in sedentary professions adopt standing positions throughout the day, in order to encourage that precious movement recommended by health professionals.
But of course, constantly getting up and sitting down again is some form of activity – while prolonged standing is a largely stationary task, and as such, you’re not necessarily reaping the health benefits of an active lifestyle. In fact, it can be the opposite, as seen below.
Cardiovascular Issues As a Result Of Prolonged Standing
Cardiovascular issues entail all those to do with the heart and blood vessels, and are an inevitable by-product of our modern society, with its constant car use and the availability of processed food keeping us off our feet and eating a bit too much sodium. But these issues can be spurred on by prolonged standing as well:
- A study of 7000 workers in Ontario, Canada found that those who stood for prolonged periods at work were at double the risk of heart disease than those who primarily sit.
- This is because blood pools in the legs, putting extra pressure on the veins and increasing oxidative stress.
- This remained the case even after other factors were eliminated, including both chronic health issues such as diabetes and arthritis, and social concerns, including age.
It’s a revelatory study that ultimately led to the researchers recommending that workplaces should seek to reduce the amount of prolonged standing alongside other serious health concerns including smoking and poor diets.
But how can compression socks help in this regard? Compression socks increase circulation through the external pressure, relieving the amount of work your body has to do to keep blood and oxygen flowing.
As such, they can help prevent blood from pooling in the leg veins, the key issue identified by the study. They can also decrease swelling in the legs and ankles – including varicose veins, an area for which compression socks are often recommended to a range of people, including those who work in jobs that involve standing for long periods.
Fatigue and Discomfort
Even though prolonged standing is potentially worse than prolonged sitting – that extra 10% of energy is still being used by your muscles to keep you in an upright position and can contribute to feelings of tiredness that increase throughout the day, as well as resultant swelling in the veins of the feet and legs.
And it doesn’t take long for these effects to kick in, according to another study ‘prolonged standing without dynamic movement, even for periods as short as 30 minutes, leads to physical fatigue, discomfort, and pain in several body regions.
It’s something made apparent by that swaying motion we often do after standing still for a while, indicative of us losing postural control.
Compression socks can again help here, assisting the muscles most affected by the constant stress of standing in a fixed position. Athletes often use them on their hands and arms, for similar reasons.
What compression socks should I buy to help with prolonged standing issues?
For standing all day – people generally use compression socks that stretch upward over the calf and to the knee, as these increase circulation across the whole lower leg where most of the muscle stress is occurring.
Heart issues are more common in males, but for those concerned about distinctions in gender, there are few differences between women’s compression socks and men’s compression socks – it’s down to a stylistic choice, and about finding the perfect fit.
For fantastic, designer compression socks for both men and women, check out our amazing range at Collective Socks.
Both stylish, and of course, fully functional, our socks are designed to deal with a range of issues, including those caused by prolonged standing, and look great whilst doing it.
We are also a firm believer in charitable giving, and our approach as a company is to help our community and create our products with everyone in mind.
We donate 20% of each sale to hard-working charities contending with important issues, including St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital and the Trevor Project.