When it comes to work, many of us spend most of our days either sitting or standing. But it doesn't matter if you're in a desk job or you stand all day at work—sitting or standing for long hours without taking regular breaks can cause a host of issues, including swelling in ankles and feet, inflammation throughout the body, leg fatigue and, in rare cases, venous disorders. When your muscles are tired and consistently under strain or chronically under-utilized, it can also leave you open to injury as you go about your day.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics performed an occupational requirements survey, and the results were as follows:
This shows that many of us spend most of our days either sitting or standing—but this doesn't mean we have to accept the fatigue, pain, and discomfort that comes with it. Many people have found relief from their occupational woes by wearing compression socks while they work.
In this article, we'll explain how Pear's stylish compression socks can help you manage occupational sitting and standing and how they work to improve circulation and reduce leg fatigue. We'll also discuss some of the leading professions that can see a significant impact from compression sock benefits and the best practices for wearing them to maximize their effect.
Risks of Prolonged Occupational Sitting
Sitting at work for extended periods can come with as many challenges as standing at work all day. Swollen feet and aching legs can be attributed to long hours of inactivity. Sitting 8 hours a day can also impact the efficacy of your lymphatic drainage system, which works alongside your circulatory system to remove toxins from the body. Compression socks for leg pain help to reduce swelling in ankles and feet and promote healthy circulation even when sitting for long hours. They also help to prevent Deep Vein Thrombosis (DVT), which can occur in extreme cases when you've been inactive for an extended period of time without moving. That's why wearing compression socks to prevent DVT is recommended for long-haul travelers flying for more than 12 hours.
Prolonged occupations sitting has been primarily linked to the following risks:
- Cardiovascular disease
- Musculoskeletal disorders
- Type II diabetes
Many studies have been performed on the impacts of prolonged occupational sitting and standing on a wide array of health risk factors. Research brought to light by B.C. Legal highlights some potentially difficult stats to swallow for office workers who spend, on average, 75% of the day sitting. They note that people who sat for prolonged periods during the day experienced a 112% increase in the risk of diabetes and a 147% increase in cardiovascular events, among other health-related issues. It has also been shown that prolonged sitting increases your risk of obesity and type II diabetes.
Compression socks for office workers who sit for long periods work by supporting the veins and muscles in your legs to return the blood to the heart. This improves circulation in feet, ankles, and legs, preventing blood pooling in your extremities which can cause edema (commonly known as swelling). Compression socks also help to reduce inflammation by supporting lymphatic drainage, helping to push lymph (toxin-filled fluid) away from the legs. This helps reduce swelling in the ankles, feet, and legs and relieves aching and fatigued muscles.
Risks of Prolonged Occupational Standing
Wondering what is considered prolonged standing? Prolonged standing is defined as standing for over 8 hours and has been shown to result in pain, fatigue, and, in more extreme cases, chronic venous insufficiency, which is when the veins in your legs struggle to send the blood back to the heart efficiently. You're not alone if you experience uncomfortable symptoms from prolonged standing at work. Many nurses, healthcare workers, teachers, construction workers, and those in hospitality are all prone to suffering from leg fatigue, aching feet and ankles, poor circulation, and varicose veins, which is why many of them wear compression socks daily.
The Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety lists the following side effects of prolonged standing:
- Sore feet
- Swelling in legs
- Varicose veins
- Muscular fatigue
- Low back pain
- Stiffness in the neck and shoulders
- Joint pain
Many studies have confirmed that standing for more than 8 hours on a regular basis can result in "chronic venous insufficiency, musculoskeletal pain of the lower back... low blood pressure, [and] upper and lower leg pain".
The best socks for standing all day are undoubtedly compression socks. Studies have shown that (a) there are indeed health risks associated with prolonged standing, and (b) compression socks are an effective intervention. If you're looking to reduce the strain on your legs and lower limbs, investing in compression socks for circulation and inflammation support can significantly impact your quality of life. As we've discussed, compression socks are designed to increase circulation to legs, helping to reduce swelling in feet and ankles. One of the top compression sock benefits is that they help to support the process of venous return, helping the muscles pump back blood to the heart to promote good circulation, avoid leg fatigue, and reduce swelling.
A Pear for Every Profession
Compression socks have been found to be highly effective for a wide range of professionals, from nurses, teachers, and construction workers who stand at work all day to computer programmers, office workers, and truck drivers who sit for extended periods.
Nurses and Teachers
Studies have shown that nurses walk approximately 5 miles during a 12-hour shift, and some teachers can work over 63 hours per week. Much of this time is spent standing in front of a classroom. Potential problems faced by nurses, healthcare workers, and teachers include swelling in ankles and feet, muscle pain, leg fatigue, varicose veins, and in rare cases, venous insufficiency.
Pear's knee-high compression stockings are the best compression socks for standing all day, with moisture-wicking and anti-odor properties, so you stay comfortable throughout the day. With a range of colors and designs to choose from, our modern compression socks are the best compression socks for teachers and nurses, working seamlessly with any uniform. The natural, hypoallergenic material we use is completely machine washable, so there's no fussing about after long days on your feet. Our sheer compression knee-highs are also great for more professional work settings, so you never have to worry about sacrificing style to enjoy all the compression sock benefits available.
Animal Caretakers, Electricians, Cooks, Chefs, and Dishwashers
It's been shown that animal caretakers, electricians, cooks, chefs, and dishwashers stand for over 90% of their workday. This can result in blood pooling in the extremities, which causes swelling in feet and ankles, muscle pain, leg fatigue, varicose veins, and just like nurses and teachers, can lead to venous insufficiency in more extreme cases.
Pear's versatile range of compression socks are made in Italy and are the perfect socks for electricians who have to stand for hours in cramped spaces. The lightweight and breathable fabric makes moving around easy and prevents sweaty-sock issues (we all know what that's like!). Compression stockings for chefs, cooks, and dishwashers also come in handy as our premium material is highly durable, so you can be sure your stockings will last even with frequent washing. Our compression socks are also the best socks for standing on concrete all day, which puts considerable pressure on the legs, feet, and ankles. For this reason, compression socks are also regarded as the best socks for construction work, providing the support you need to remain comfortable and safe on the job.
Computer Programmers and Office Workers
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that computer programmers sit for 95.7 percent of the workday. In the U.K., office workers spend 75% of their waking hours sitting down, and Forbes notes that U.S. office workers spend, on average, 15 hours of their day sitting.
As we've learned, sitting work is not always healthy work. Computer programmers and office workers often experience muscle pain, ankle swelling, tingling feet, muscular skeletal issues, and can also suffer from venous insufficiency if timely intervention is not made.
Pear's crew compression socks come just above the ankle and feature 360° targeted compression, providing relief and support to your feet and ankles. They are also made with anti-microbial, anti-odor, moisture-wicking premium fabric and work to deliver the extra 'oomph' you need to get through a busy workday by helping to reduce fatigue and leg cramps. Our fashionable compression socks provide a great way to add style to your office wardrobe without sacrificing comfort (talk about having your cake and eating it, too!).
Truck and Cab Drivers
It's said that the average trucker can work 70 hours over the course of 8 days. It has also been found that cab drivers regularly work shifts exceeding 8 hours, which is why the law has recently been adapted to cap cab driving at 12 hours in a 24-hour period.
The Wall Street Journal has reported that 35 chronic diseases and conditions have been associated with sedentary lifestyles, which is a lifestyle that involves prolonged sitting without breaks for most of the day. Truck and cab drivers, who are forced to sit for prolonged periods, are known to experience sitting-related symptoms such as chronic leg pain, varicose veins, and swelling in their ankles and feet.
Pear's range of crew compression socks works to prevent these symptoms from occurring. The targeted compression helps to improve circulation and reduce fatigue in your legs, while the natural, hypoallergenic fabric ensures your feet and ankles remain comfortable. Our knee-high compression socks for varicose veins come in various styles and designs to suit any uniform or outfit, allowing you to easily incorporate them into your outfit without worrying about covering them up or looking out of place.
Compression socks can play an essential role in providing relief to those who stand or sit for most of their workday. In addition to improving circulation and reducing swelling and inflammation, they also help you to avoid the dreaded fatigue that comes with a stressful day behind a screen, a long shift on the road, or a demanding job on your feet. Compression socks for blood clots, varicose veins, and lymphatic drainage support can keep you feeling energized and comfortable throughout the workday while delivering the support and style you need to look and feel great at the same time.
At Pear Compression, we've curated a range of modern compression socks for work boots to heels and beyond, specifically designed to suit the needs of individuals in different professions. Whether you're a computer programmer, a healthcare worker, a truck or cab driver, a chef, or an office worker, our comfy compression stockings are mindfully-made in Italy to bring you the best of compression in style.
Browse our range today to find your Perfect Pear!
While we do make every effort to produce accurate and up-to-date content, the information in this blog article is provided for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition, and before undertaking any diet, supplement, fitness, or other health program. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.