Vein problems caused by working from home: what you can do against it now
Covid 19 has not only completely mixed up our day-to-day life – it has also brought many changes to our working practices. Nowadays, working from home saves many employees the daily journey to work and the contacts in the office. But, working within your own four walls also has a downside. This lifestyle can have a negative effect on the health of your veins.
What drawbacks does working from home have on veins?
If you have not yet had a venous disease you probably do not even think about the drawbacks for your vein function which result from working from home. There are actually some factors which prevent the circulation in your legs:
- Improper seating position: kitchen chair and dining table or even the sofa are not suitable for hours of desk work. Nowadays, the home office has become a permanent workplace for many people, and that is why you should really invest in specialised office furniture. Those people who do not have a separate office can at least make use of an ergonomic office chair, which protects your back and which can be individually adjusted for the correct sitting height. Your legs also need space under the desk so that they are not jammed in. If there isn’t enough room, blood accumulates in your legs and cannot flow away properly.
- Less movement: spread over the day, you can clock up quite a few kilometres walking back and forth, depending on the size of the company. Going to the kitchen to pick up a coffee or to the copier, going to your colleagues, to the warehouse, to the canteen, a stroll with colleagues during lunch break – all these units of movement disappear when you work from home. Now the way to work is just from the bedroom via the bathroom into the living room. No walking to the underground, no cycling to the office. On top of that, privately we move around a lot less because of all the restrictions on contacts. For many there is also no sport during their leisure time. Due to the chronic lack of movement, your muscle pump hardly gets started and blood builds up quickly in your legs.
- Increased risk of thrombosis: the less we move, the greater the risk of vein thrombosis. Working from home adds to the build-up of blood for those already suffering with vein problems. This is because the occasional walk from your desk to the kitchen is not enough to stimulate your vein function and the removal of blood from your legs. If you have a relevant predisposition that can lead to the formation of blood clots, which block your veins.
- Fewer check-ups: a further risk factor is that there are fewer regular visits to the doctor taking place. The fear of contracting Coronavirus is preventing many vein patients from visiting their doctor for routine check-ups. So many vein problems remain undetected, which can lead to an increase in serious diseases of the blood vessels.
This is how to keep your veins healthy when working from home
The good thing about working from home is that you can be a little more relaxed within your own four walls. Especially with regard to the layout of your working environment. Putting your feet up, gymnastics and sweatpants are just a few of the vein-friendly measures which would provoke strange looks from your colleagues in the office:
- Comfortable clothing: those tight jeans, the skirt with the tight waistband and the high heels can safely stay in the wardrobe. Instead of that, wear comfortable clothing which doesn’t constrict when you are seated. If an online meeting is planned, you can be groomed from the waist up. Nobody will see your sweatpants.
- Put your feet up: it is a no-no in the office to just put your feet up on your desk. When you work from home, however, your veins are happy to get the support removing the blood and nobody can be offended by it.
- Incorporate a stroll: consciously use the lunch break or the time after work when you would normally be in your car, the train or the bus to go for a walk. Not only will your veins be happy, your brain will be too! Because it can switch off during your relaxing little walk. And that also gets you out of your home so you don’t feel the walls closing in on you.
- Brief gymnastics: plan regular gymnastic breaks to counteract the inactivity. Set your alarm to go off every 30 minutes to remind you to move around. Walk about your home, up and down the stairs a few times, jump on the spot or at least move your feet and legs, in order to stimulate your blood flow. You can also walk around your home while on the phone.
- Vein gymnastics: it may make your office colleague nervous when you waggle your feet around under your desk. At home you don’t need to bother about anyone else and you can do your vein gymnastics on the side. Rock or paddle your feet, make circles with them or pull your knee up towards your chest – there are a lot of small exercises which you can do while working.
- Healthy diet: during lunch break do you happily allow yourself to be seduced by your colleagues to eat burger and chips and something sweet with your afternoon coffee? You are not exposed to this temptation at home – provided that you only fill your fridge with wholesome food. Healthy meals can be quickly rustled up in your own kitchen. Leftovers are simply kept in the fridge for the next day.
- Drink a lot: many people find it easier to drink the recommended two litres when they are at home. On the one hand, nobody notices if you have to disappear frequently, on the other, you can make yourself a big flask of tea and have it within reach at your workspace. The fluids help your blood to circulate better throughout your body.
- Cold water: if your legs swell uncomfortably from too much sitting, you can simply fill a bowl with cold water and submerge your feet for a while. It helps your legs to decongest.
- Give your legs a rub: the scent of mountain pine would probably not be well appreciated in the office, but at home the intensive odours do not matter. So simply rub a lotion into your legs from time to time, in order to stimulate circulation.
- Veno SL® 300 (Mandatory information – in German): you can also give your veins additional support by taking Veno SL® 300. The herbal agent it contains, Troxerutin, extracted from an ingredient of the Japanese Pagoda Tree, encourages your blood to flow and strengthens the walls of your vessels.
You should definitely visit your doctor if your legs still swell up while working from home despite these tips, or they ache or unsightly varicose veins develop. The earlier vein problems are recognised, the better you can take countermeasures. You must be particularly careful if one foot or one leg suddenly swells up and feels warm to the touch. This could indicate that a thrombosis has developed, which must be treated immediately.