Standing Desks: How to Prevent Swollen Ankles

Nearly all of this year’s must-have gift lists include the new wave of lifestyle monitoring devices like the Fitbit or Jawbone Up. The goal of these is to make people more aware of their activity, or lack of activity as it may be for most. For years, doctors have told us that we’re suffering for the “sitting disease” with more than 86% of American workers sitting all day at work – adding up to about 13 hours of sitting per day (this doesn’t include how many hours you clock in bed sleeping). That’s a lot of sedentary activity! Unfortunately, most of us are required to be in front of a computer 8 hours a day – and there’s no way to avoid that. So, more and more companies are giving employees the option of standing desks. These are great for a number of reasons – they can relieve back pain, improve your posture and help you burn more calories during the day. But, there are some unfortunate side effects to the standing desk that some people are realizing.

A writer at Quartz.com recently wrote about “The Huge Hidden Downside to Standing Desks” – swollen ankles or cankles. See the image below of her sad ankles after a day at her new standing desk:

 

Cankles aren’t the only unfortunate side effect to standing desks. We’ve also read articles citing an increase in spider and varicose veins in the legs, as well as leg and foot pain. It makes sense – nurses, waitresses, bartenders, sales people and more (basically anyone who is required to be on their feet all day) have always complained about these issues. Standing puts an incredible amount of pressure on our circulatory system – gravity makes it hard to pump blood back from the feet to the heart which leads to swelling and enlarged veins.

So, to sum this whole thing up – sitting is bad and standing is bad too. What’re we all supposed to do!?

Wear compression socks, of course! If you have the opportunity to use a standing desk, take it. You can get the great health benefits of standing and prevent the side effect by simply wearing support socks or stockings. Compression hosiery relieves the pressure on the circulatory system by promoting healthy circulation. These socks prevent swelling, spider veins and varicose veins. Here are some of our favorites for standing: