9 Occupations That Would Benefit from Doctor-Approved Compression Therapy
If you think your job might be negatively impacting your circulation, you might be right. Occupations that require you to sit or stand all day (or a combination of both) can contribute to slow blood flow—but compression therapy can help to improve circulation. Here are nine occupations that can benefit from compression therapy:
1. Medical Professionals
Doctors, nurses, pharmacists, home health aides, technicians—pretty much all medical professionals spend their entire shift standing and walking. In fact, nurses often cover more than four miles in the hospital corridors during a 12-hour shift. Compression socks keep their legs and circulation healthy, so they can focus on patients instead.
2. Air Travel Workers
Flight attendants are usually required to wear more formal tights or dress socks to work. But if you look closely, you’ll notice that most airline workers wear compression hosiery to fight the effects that flying and being on their feet has on their body. (Okay, you probably can’t tell because compression gear is designed to look exactly like regular stockings and socks, but you get the point!)
3. Office Workers
White collar office jobs seem like they should be easier on your body, but working at a desk all day can have many bad effects on your health. One of those is reducing circulation. Since you’re barely moving all day, gravity pulls on your blood, slowing its flow and causing it to pool in your lower limbs. A standing desk won’t help that much because you’re still stuck at a desk all day, not moving. But wearing compression socks can help combat the negative effects your desk job is having on your circulation.
4. Chefs and Other Foodservice Workers
Almost everyone in the foodservice industry spends all day on their feet, including chefs, cooks, servers, dishwashers and food runners. The restaurant may be a cheap fast food place or a Michelin-starred eatery, but all the employees will still be on their feet for their entire shift, excepting an all-too-short break, making compression socks and comfortable shoes a must.
5. Retail Workers
Whether the store sells discount groceries or luxury fashion, the workers have one thing in common: They almost never sit down. From helping a customer to stocking shelves to ringing up items at the cash register, working in retail requires being on your feet for basically your entire shift, which often leads to aching, swollen legs. Compression therapy is an effective and affordable way to manage these symptoms.
6. Factory Workers
While the modern factory is evolving and becoming more technologically advanced, what hasn’t changed is that employees must spend most of their shift on their feet. In addition to all the standing, factory workers usually perform repetitive motions over and over again, which puts further strain on their bodies, exacerbating aches and pains caused by bad circulation and swelling.
7. Truck Drivers
Desk workers can at least get up every so often to visit the kitchen or the bathroom, but truck drivers are glued to their cabs, and they’re incentivized to drive as fast and make as few stops as possible. Compression socks encourage their blood to keep flowing, even during drives that last up to 11 hours.
8. Maids, Housekeepers and Janitors
Cleaning homes and buildings can wreak havoc on your body in many ways, including your circulation. Maids, housekeepers and janitors spend most of their time standing, leading to swelling and bad circulation that can contribute to other aches and pains. Wearing compression gear as you clean can help manage these symptoms.
Teachers spend all day on their feet at the front of the classroom, and then much of their evening sitting down, grading homework and preparing for the next day’s lessons. Neither of these situations is great for your circulation, which is why teachers turn to compression therapy to keep their legs healthy during the school year.
If you work in one of these occupations, consider compression socks and stockings to improve circulation. If you think you might need to use a higher level of compression, be sure to get approval from your doctor before you go beyond 20 mmHg.
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.