My legs & feet are swelling up presumably from too much sitting at a desk.
August 19, 2011 11:58 AM   Subscribe

I work at a desk 10 to 12 hours a day. Lately, I've been noticing lately that my calves, feet, and ankles seem swollen. I'm not in any pain and don't feel any difference, apart from my shoes being a bit tight. Besides taking periodic breaks and walking around/stretching, what else can I do to reduce the swelling? I get daily exercise, but I'm sure the long periods of sitting in front of a computer are contributing to this.
posted by matrushka to Health & Fitness (15 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Compression socks
posted by purpleclover at 12:01 PM on August 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

Use an egg timer to take a walk break after 45 minutes. Even 5 minutes is enough.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 12:01 PM on August 19, 2011

One thing I do, stand up when you're on the phone:

1. It makes you look like a really important '80s stockbroker.
2. Your voice will sound better and more authoritative.
3. It takes the decision of when exactly to stand out of your hands.
posted by 2bucksplus at 12:02 PM on August 19, 2011 [9 favorites]

Can you elevate your feet at all underneath your desk? This will help a little. If you're female, you could also wear support hose; you could also wear compression socks, as purpleclover suggested above. If you don't have time to get up and take a break every 45 minutes (I'm jealous if you do!), do simple range of motion exercises under your desk. Lift your legs, kick your feet out, flex your toes and ankles, do mini leg circles, etc.
posted by pecanpies at 12:11 PM on August 19, 2011

I'm an endurance athlete and this happens to me alllll the time at work. I'd suggest compression socks under your pants. I also snagged an extra wastebasket, overturned it and prop my feet up under my desk when I'm typing away. It helps a lot. Also - take a look at your salt intake and stay hydrated.
posted by floweredfish at 12:15 PM on August 19, 2011

Something like this might help. I know it helped me to have a foot rest when I did office work. I couldn't afford one as nice as this, but I would put glass soda bottles under my desk and use them to roll my feet around to keep the blood circulating.
posted by patheral at 12:18 PM on August 19, 2011

Response by poster: Compression socks, great idea! Same with foot elevation. Thanks.
posted by matrushka at 12:50 PM on August 19, 2011

I find that the more exercise I get, the less of a problem it is. Walking, in particular, makes a huge difference--if I go for a walk, the next day I get little to no swelling.

My doctor diagnosed me with Venous Insufficiency, though I understand that leg swelling can be a symptom of other disorders, so you might want to talk to your doctor about it.
posted by WorkingMyWayHome at 12:59 PM on August 19, 2011

Not sure why my linky isn't working, but here it is again.
posted by WorkingMyWayHome at 1:00 PM on August 19, 2011

Eat less salt
posted by radioamy at 1:11 PM on August 19, 2011

How's your blood pressure?
posted by skyl1n3 at 1:46 PM on August 19, 2011

Response by poster: @skyl1n3 Normal.
posted by matrushka at 1:47 PM on August 19, 2011

I've got the same thing since I've spent this summer working in an office. What works for me is to move my feet while I'm working (swing them around, twist your ankles, etc.) and to go for a quick walk during lunch & coffee breaks.

Oh, and both I and my mother who gets the same thing have normal blood pressure, circulation, etc. The human body just isn't designed to sit in front of a computer all day!
posted by vanitas at 2:13 PM on August 19, 2011

Not sure if this is practical for you, but I had all sorts of leg and back problems from sitting at a desk all day. I converted my cubicle to a standing workstation, and it has made an incredible difference. I'll admit, my feet were a little sore for about the fist week (concrete floor), but I'm going on eight months of this now, and it has been wonderful.
posted by xedrik at 3:28 PM on August 19, 2011 [1 favorite]

Cut out most/all processed food. Processed carbs, and the salt that processed food is loaded with, can cause you to retain amazing amounts of water. Also, taking calcium at bedtime and potassium in the morning makes a huge difference for me.
posted by MexicanYenta at 5:33 AM on August 21, 2011

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