6 Benefits of Wearing Compression Socks in the Office
White collar office jobs can be easier than manual labor in many ways, but there are still many negative side effects a regular office job can have on your health. In particular, sitting all day slows down your circulation, which can contribute to swelling, varicose veins and even deep vein thrombosis. Wearing compression socks to the office is one way to give your circulation a boost even if you’re stuck at your desk all day. Here are six benefits that come from wearing compression socks at work:
1. Improves Circulation
You know by now that sitting all day is bad for you, but if you don’t have a choice at your job, you’re probably wondering how to improve circulation in other ways. Wearing compression socks at the office can boost your circulation by providing graduated pressure that is perfectly calculated to keep your blood flowing. This pressure discourages your blood from pooling, even while you’re sitting down. This is why compression socks are a great choice for other situations where you have to sit for long periods of time, such as long flights.
2. Energize Tired, Aching Legs
You sit at your desk for roughly eight hours, but your legs still hurt at the end of a long day–even though you barely used those muscles. Sound crazy? It’s not. See, blood carries oxygen and other nutrients throughout your body, including your legs. The slower your blood flows, the less frequently your body is replenished with these nutrients. This can cause your body to feel tired and achy like you’ve just worked out, even though you haven’t been physically active while at the office. Wearing compression socks boosts your circulation, which gets nutrients circulating faster and fights off that tired, achy feeling.
3. Reduces Swelling
Yes, gravity pulls down on your blood—and it also has the same effect on lymph, water and other bodily fluids. If you sit or stand during the day without much movement, gravity keeps pulling down on those fluids, causing them to concentrate in your lower body. This is why your feet and calves may be swelling up. The tightly woven fabric of graduated compression stockings doesn’t give your skin room to expand, forcing the fluids to dissipate and reducing swelling. This is also why you should don your compression socks in the morning, as they will provide the most benefits if you put them on before the swelling begins.
4. Helps Prevent Varicose and Spider Veins
Like you learned in high school anatomy, the veins in your legs are only built to flow one way. However, if your circulation is poor, your blood can back up and pool, which puts pressure on the veins and can even cause the valves to malfunction. If the blood stays there for a long enough time, it can make your veins bulge and darken, sometimes resulting in varicose veins and spider veins. Spider veins are mostly cosmetic, causing unsightly dark lines to form on your legs. Varicose veins are more severe and darker in color. They may also bulge out from the skin, or even be painful. Thankfully, wearing compression stockings discourages your blood from pooling and helps to reduce your chances of developing varicose and spider veins.
5. Discourages Symptoms of DVT
Deep vein thrombosis (DVT) occurs when a blood clot forms deep in the veins, usually in the legs. Signs of DVT include pain in your leg, red or discolored skin and a feeling of warmth. If the blood clot breaks off and travels, it can travel to the lungs and cause a pulmonary embolism, which can be severe and even fatal. Sitting for most of the day, or any sedentary activity that reduces physical movement, increases your risk of developing DVT. By keeping your blood flowing, compression socks discourage clots from forming and help fight your risk of developing DVT.
6. Looks Good
Maybe once upon a time, compression stockings could be spotted from a mile away—but those days are long over. Now, compression stockings come in many fashionable designs that are virtually indistinguishable from regular socks and stockings. Indeed, there are many compression dress socks available as well as more casual socks to fit every kind of office dress code. Men tend to prefer dress socks for the office, while some women like compression pantyhose for more formal outfits. If you’re looking for compression gear for work trips, we also offer an entire travel collection hand-picked for that very purpose.
Compression socks are just one way to combat poor circulation at work. If you’re looking for more ways to improve circulation at the office, check out our comprehensive guide.
Kaki Zell - Vice President of Sales, Marketing, eCommerce at Legs-4-Life LLC
Kaki holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and Management from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. She’s been working in the medical device industry over 11 years and currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Greensboro Science Center.