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Can Sitting For Too Long Cause Vein Problems?

According to, an organization dedicated to raising awareness of the dangers of a sedentary life, the average American spends 12 hours per day sitting. Additionally, 3.2 million deaths per year are attributed to physical inactivity, making it the fourth leading cause of death in the world. We go from our beds to our cars, to our office chairs, to the dinner table, to the couch at home and back to bed. It is no wonder that many of our health-related problems stem from a lack movement throughout our day.

Vein problems are no exception.

Is Sitting Bad for Vein Health?

Varicose veins, spider veins and other vein problems stem from a lack of circulation. Veins return blood from various parts of the body back to the heart so it can be reoxygenated and sent back out to the arms and legs. In the case of varicose veins, the valves that allow blood to travel in one direction throughout the body become weak and allow some blood to flow backward, away from the body’s intended direction. This pooling results in large, unsightly veins in the legs.

Varicose veins, spider veins, and reticular veins have long been linked to sitting, particularly in chairs. One study published in The Lancet in 1972 even went as far as to suggest that vein problems were absent from people who sat on the floor before chairs became the norm in Western civilization. Another study published in Thrombosis Research found that after sitting just two hours, the viscosity of the blood in the legs and feet changed, endangering the vein health of the subject.

How do you Prevent Vein Problems?

Fortunately, there is a simple way to prevent most vein problems and that is through exercise. Unfortunately, even if you get the recommended 150 minutes of vigorous exercise per week, it is not enough to combat the negative effects of excessive sitting in a day. Instead, experts from recommend alternating between sitting and standing every 30 minutes. Low intensity exercises like walking and standing not only positively affect the metabolism, they serve to restore circulation in the legs, relieving pressure on the veins and preventing a host of vein problems.

Can you Treat Vein Problems?

Fortunately, if you are already suffering from spider veins, varicose veins, or reticular veins, vein treatment options are available. Dr. Charles Dietzek of the Vein and Vascular Institute of New Jersey is an expert at treating vein difficulties that stem from sitting too long. Not only can he correct your existing problems, he can help you prevent them from recurring. Call today for a consultation.

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