Should I Sit With My Legs Up?

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Should I Sit With My Legs Up?

When you’re on the go, it can be hard to find a comfortable position for your legs. That is why we have found that people who are resting their feet propped up or elevated while they read this article will benefit from improved circulation and reduced swelling as well.

As a general rule, the act of raising your legs, particularly at or above heart height, prevents blood from accumulating in your lower extremities and enhances blood circulation. Keep your legs up when you sit to encourage blood flow in your legs and avoid or minimize varicose veins.

You should also elevate your legs whenever possible when you read what I have here today. With my decades of experience as a chiropractor and ergonomic specialist, I will show you some great tips on how to improve blood flow to all parts of the body by taking pressure off those pesky veins! 

The Benefits of Elevating Your Legs

benefits of elevating legs

Vascular problems, swelling in the feet, and heart problems don’t just affect old people. Consider changing things up if you think your workplace is too stressful and doesn’t offer enough activity breaks! In the human body, sitting for long periods can cause varicose veins, as the body was not designed to sit still for long periods. 

You may be looking at someone with lymphedema next time Grandma complains about tired legs or swollen feet. Genetics also plays a role in venous disease, so you should always pay attention next time she complains about tired legs or swollen feet!

How Long Should You Have Your Legs Up?

how long should you raise legs

As a general rule, you must raise your legs above your heart for this procedure to be effective. Maintain their elevated position for 15 minutes every four hours.

Conditions Benefited by Having Legs Up

Deep Vein Thrombosis

May Reduce Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT)

Unless treated, a deep vein thrombosis (DVT) in the leg could spread to other areas of the body, such as the lungs. By elevating (raising) your feet and legs, you can prevent your blood from pooling. This reduces the likelihood of clots forming. Make sure your feet are elevated when you are seated or lying down.

Prevention of Varicose Veins

Leg elevation has been shown to relieve varicose vein symptoms. Exercise, dieting, and resting when standing or sitting can also help decrease pain and prevent varicose veins from worsening.

Aids in Leg Swelling (Lymphedema) Reduction

Increasing the height of the affected limbs can reduce swelling. It may be recommended by your doctor that you elevate your legs when you lay down and rest the affected body part on a pillow above the heart.

Spider Vein Prevention

Your legs should be raised above the level of your heart to prevent swelling and blood pooling which may lead to spider veins. When you’re relaxing, elevate your legs for 10 to 15 minutes. If your legs are below your heart level, prop them up with pillows or cushions.

 Easier on Heart

Having your legs above your heart encourages gravity to move the built-up fluids towards your heart, thus reducing swelling and pain more quickly.

Tips for Improving Leg Circulation

So, leg elevation is a really easy thing to do that can make your circulation better. If you’re already experiencing symptoms of venous disease like swollen legs or blood clots in the veins around your ankles and feet then it’s especially important for you!

Stretching and Exercise 

couple doing leg raise exercises

You always have to be on the lookout for varicose veins, but luckily they are preventable with a little walking. Luckily you can practice poses that bring your feet higher than your heart in yoga which is called an inversion. There’s even one called Legs-Up-the Wall Pose where you just need to lie down and relax!

Compression Socks

compression socks

A pair of compression socks can help promote blood circulation. A compression sock gently directs blood flow up the leg, minimizing leg or foot swelling.

Compression Boots

compression boots

Compression (Recovery) boots work by mimicking the natural muscle pump of your body. The compressions feel like deep pressure, relaxing massage to your legs and mobilize fluid from them. Initially feeling as if they were a blood pressure cuff around your foot, these innovative inflatable work wonders while you’re sitting or lying down at home – rather than going into an expensive spa for just one hour!

Use a Cushion

Don’t position your legs on a solid surface without a cushion. You can cause yourself even more problems if your legs are right on the hard surface. Your legs will most likely be bruised or painful at the very least. 

Make sure you are also properly balanced in the neck and back area. Taking this approach will help to ensure proper blood circulation while seated. The orthopedic wedge cushion (below) is always my recommendation to my patients.

man sitting on the Best Seat Cushion for Buttock Pain

Is It Bad to Sit With Your Legs up on Your Chair?

It’s really important to monitor your blood pressure often because low BP can make you feel terrible. If it gets too low, the pooling of blood in your feet and legs will cause discomfort or even dizziness/pain if left untreated! It might help to do some light exercise that’ll get the heart pumping a little faster like walking around for 5-10 minutes before lying down again.

Takeaway

One of the most common questions we get from our clients is whether or not to sit with your legs raised while they’re on the go. The answer, it turns out, maybe yes! We recommend raising your feet and propping them up for more comfort when you are sitting in a chair at work, travelling by plane or train, reading in bed before sleep time—or even if you’re just watching TV.

You can also try elevating your feet while working at a computer; this will help reduce swelling and improve circulation. To learn more about how ergonomic principles like these could benefit you and why they might matter to your business’s bottom line, visit us online today!

References

  1. Bates, S.M., Jaeschke, R., Stevens, S.M., Goodacre, S., Wells, P.S., Stevenson, M.D., Kearon, C., Schunemann, H.J., Crowther, M., Pauker, S.G. and Makdissi, R., 2012. Diagnosis of DVT: antithrombotic therapy and prevention of thrombosis: American College of Chest Physicians evidence-based clinical practice guidelines. Chest141(2), pp.e351S-e418S.
  2. Cheville, A.L., McGarvey, C.L., Petrek, J.A., Russo, S.A., Taylor, M.E. and Thiadens, S.R., 2003, July. Lymphedema management. In Seminars in radiation oncology (Vol. 13, No. 3, pp. 290-301). WB Saunders.
  3. Madsen, P., Svendsen, L.B., Jørgensen, L.G., Matzen, S., Jansen, E. and Secher, N.H., 1998. Tolerance to head-up tilt and suspension with elevated legs. Aviation, space, and environmental medicine69(8), pp.781-784.
  4. Mujadzic, M., Ritter, E.F. and Given, K.S., 2015. A novel approach for the treatment of spider veins. Aesthetic surgery journal35(7), pp.NP221-NP229.

 

**As a service to our readers, Axial Chairs provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of the last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinicians.

 

**As a service to our readers, Axial Chairs provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of the last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinicians.
Dr Lawrence Woods DC

Dr Lawrence Woods DC

Founder

My goal is to create the highest quality ergonomic office chairs and accessories for unmatched comfort.

With 30 years of spinal healthcare experience in Ireland as a chiropractor, I learned the value of high-quality sitting for living a happy and healthy life.

I have a Chiropractic Degree from Life Chiropractic College West and I am NBCE Physiotherapy certified.

 

Dr Lawrence Woods

My goal is to create the highest quality ergonomic office chairs and accessories for unmatched comfort. With 30 years of spinal healthcare experience as a chiropractor, I learned the value of high-quality sleep for living a happy and healthy life. I have a Chiropractic Degree from Life Chiropractic College West and am NBCE Physiotherapy certified.

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