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Could Your Job Be Increasing Your Varicose Veins Risk?

Many factors can increase your risk for varicose veins. The most important of these are heredity (having a family history of vein disease), age (being over 50), gender (women are more at risk than men), pregnancy, and being overweight or obese. But did you know that one of the things that can greatly increase your risk of developing varicose vein is your JOB?

Clinical studies have found that if you work in one the following professions, you have a much higher varicose vein risk than those who work in other types of jobs:

  • Nurses, doctors, and health care workers
  • Factory workers
  • Cashiers and retail workers
  • Hair stylists and barbers
  • Restaurant workers (hostesses, waiters, cook staff)
  • Flight attendants
  • Teachers
  • Office and computer workers
  • Commercial drivers (truckers, cab drivers, etc.)

WHY do these professions increase your varicose vein risk?

The primary job-related characteristic that increases varicose veins risk is lack of movement. This includes jobs like the first 7 in the above list that require you to stand all day, but it also includes jobs like the last two that require you to sit all day. Either standing or sitting for a long time increases your risk for varicose veins. This is because staying in one position for a long time forces your veins to work harder to pump blood to your heart.

The science proving that prolonged periods of standing or sitting increase varicose vein risk is pretty conclusive. A 2005 Danish study of nearly 10,000 workers found that “prolonged standing at work constitutes an excess risk of hospital treatment due to varicose vein, and accounts for more than one fifth of all cases of working age.” A 2015 study on nurses from three general hospitals indicated the same increased risk. A 2012 study in the journal Ergonomics concluded that “…the odds ratio of varicose veins was significantly high for prolonged standing for male and female workers.”

Some studies found that the risk associated with standing for long periods is even worse if you are overweight. A 2014 Japanese study found that the combination of prolonged standing at work and overweight exacerbate varicose vein development. And a 2015 study of hairdressers concluded that “varicose veins in the legs of female hairdressers had a high prevalence, and it was associated with increasing age, family history of varicose disease, high blood pressure, and prolonged standing.”

So if your job forces you to stand or sit all day, how can you protect yourself?

Don’t despair, and feel that you have to quit your job. There are a number of things you can do to keep your blood pumping and prevent varicose veins:

  • Make sure to get sufficient regular exercise, in particular walking or jogging.
  • Reduce pressure on your veins by maintaining a healthy weight.
  • If you can, take frequent “mini-breaks.” Instead of sending a letter to a printer close to your desk, send it one on another floor, and take the stairs to fetch it.
  • If you have to stand, choose shoes with flat heels rather than high heels.
  • Wear compression stockings to improve circulation and keep blood from pooling in your leg veins.
  • When sitting, shift your position often and try to avoid crossing your legs.
  • When you can take a real break at work, elevate your legs for a few minutes.

Naturally, you should also see your doctor on a regular basis. If you have other risk factors for varicose veins such as family history, you should consider giving the experts at The Vein Institute a call at 1 300 535 017. They can give you other tips for how to keep your veins healthy while keeping your job.



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Varicose veins are leg veins which do not pump blood effectively back to the heart and can be often seen as bulging veins just underneath your skin on either leg. These varicose veins have valves in them which are not working effectively so that blood which is meant to be pushed towards the heart, leaks downwards toward the legs. There are other leg veins which are still working, so blood does eventually arrive through other routes to your heart. However, varicose veins do exert added pressure on your circulatory system. Read More.

Endovenous Laser Ablation is a Varicose Veins Laser Treatment performed in our clinic under local anaesthetic. This new procedure is an excellent treatment option for most patients with varicose veins and is considered slightly more effective than surgery but without the need for hospitalization. Read More.

This is an endovenous treatment (meaning treating the vein on the inside). It is generally accepted to be associated with less pain and bruising than endovenous laser ablation. It is a “gold standard” form of treatment for large varicose leg veins treatment as the procedure requires no hospitalization or time of work yet is at least as effective as surgery. Read More.

Venaseal™ or ‘superglue’ treatment by Sapheon is the latest surgery free procedure that uses a medical adhesive to safely and effectively treat varicose veins. Unlike other treatments, Venaseal™ does not require tumescent local anaesthetic around the vein, so there is usually only one local anaesthetic injection. The Venaseal™ non surgical treatment procedure also eliminates the use of heat (or thermal energy) so there is virtually no risk of nerve or skin injury or any major reaction to the anaesthetic. Read More.

Ultrasound Guided Foam Sclerotherapy allows our doctors to visually guide and monitor a needle to the exact source of the incompetent vein (valve) to be injected. By using ultrasound we can treat more quickly and safely larger and deeper veins that once required more invasive surgical treatment. Foam sclerotherapy is the new form of delivering the sclerosing agent that allows us to treat larger varicose veins that might be unsuccessfully treated with conventional sclerotherapy. The foam solution has the consistency of ‘shaving cream’, which improves treatment in two distinct ways. Read More.

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