Are Standing Desks Really Better?

By now, you’ve likely heard that sitting all day is not healthy. With medical professionals now calling sitting “the new smoking”, the risks of sitting are well documented. But are standing desks good or bad for varicose veins? The answer may not be as simple as you think.

The Dangers of Sitting

It is well documented that sitting all day can be dangerous. Many clinical studies link too much sitting with many serious health conditions, including obesity, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, abnormal cholesterol levels and an increased risk for heart disease.

With all of the health risks that sitting too much can pose, it’s no surprise that standing desks have suddenly become so popular. These desks are said to not only increase your focus, but also improve circulation and prevent the health concerns presented by sitting.

Disadvantages of a Standing Desk

Unfortunately, simply moving to a standing desk will not remove all health risks from your work day. Research reports show that people who spend too many hours a day on their feet are prone to varicose veins, blood pooling in the legs, poor circulation and certain types of heart disease. If you are pregnant, obese or suffering from health problems that complicate standing, being on your feet for too long can be especially harmful.

So if sitting too much is unhealthy, but standing all day is also unhealthy, what is a person to do?

How To Improve Circulation And Vein Health At Work

Rather than only sitting or only standing, consider a combination of the two. Adjustable-height desks allow for you to work both sitting and standing. Here are a couple other tried-and-true tips that are good for your vein health.

Stretch Regularly & Flex Your Calf Muscles
Light stretching throughout your day can help get you moving while promoting good circulation and oxygen flow. Standing calf raises, toe touches and flexing your calf muscles are all great ways to get the blood flowing. 

Take Phone Calls On The Go
When possible, try taking phone calls while walking around. Even just slowly pacing at your desk while on the phone can promote weight loss and improved blood flow. It can also keep fluid from pooling in your leg and ankle region.

Avoid Constrictive Clothing And High Heels
Tight clothing and high heels can cause your body to subtly contort in unnatural ways or restrict good circulation. This can cause pain, swelling, and poor blood flow, all of which increase your chances of developing circulation or vein health issues.

Wear Compression Stockings
Compression stockings can be of great benefit for those whose jobs require long periods of sitting or standing. Compression stockings help to mimic the natural muscle contractions of walking, which allows for the stimulation of proper blood flow and prevents lymphedema, or leg swelling.

You don’t have to give up on using a standing desk completely, even if you do have an increased risk for varicose veins. Being sure to alternate between sitting and standing throughout your workday, and following the above tips can make standing desks a welcome addition to the office.

Elmore Medical Vein & Laser Treatment Center is the premier vein specialty medical practice in the Central Valley. Dr. Mario H. Gonzalez and his staff offer years of experience and medical expertise that you won’t find anywhere else. Contact us today to set up a consultation appointment.

Jennifer GuidryComment