Excessive desk work certainly can increase one’s risk of DVT, says Dr. Paul Lucas.
The human machine was not designed to spend all day sitting at a desk. Unfortunately, that’s what many men and women must do to earn a living.
However, many people — once they get home from the sedentary workplace — continue with the excessive sitting.
“Excessive desk work certainly can increase one’s risk of DVT, as sitting for prolonged periods leads to stasis that poses a risk for thrombus development,” says Paul Lucas, MD, surgeon with the Vascular Center and director of the Vascular Laboratory at Mercy Hospital in Baltimore.
Various studies indeed show that excessive sitting increases the risk of developing a blood clot in the leg.
“It is important stretch your legs, get up and walk for even a few minutes when doing this type of work,” says Dr. Lucas.
Prolonged sitting slows down blood flow, creating conditions that can be ripe for DVT formation.
“For every 30 minutes of sitting you should do these things to reduce that risk,” says Dr. Lucas.
“So, push back your seat and stretch those legs. This is also important in air travel and prolonged car or train rides.”
In addition, stay well-hydrated!
Remembering to get up every 30 minutes or so to exercise the legs can be cumbersome for people who are deeply absorbed in deadline work at a desk. They should look into the idea of a treadmill desk.
If your employer won’t allow this, then have one set up at your house — either before the TV or for your computer.
If you have other risk factors for a DVT, such as smoking, obesity, lack of an exercise program or use of birth control pills, you really need to make a concerted effort to offset excessive sitting from desk work.
Dr. Lucas leads a team of vascular surgeons and technologists who specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with diseased blood vessels.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.