You’ve probably heard about the dangers of sitting too much, but did you know that it’s also a common cause of foot swelling or edema?
Sitting all day at a desk is one of the most harmful habits in modern life. Our feet have to endure a lot of pressure from the chairs and the tables. This causes your feet to swell and it becomes difficult to stand comfortably.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle that includes exercise, eating clean, and practicing sitting ergonomics can reduce swelling in the feet while sitting.
In this article, we’ll guide you on how to prevent feet swelling while sitting at a desk at your workplace or home.
What is Swelling or Edema?
Edema is the swelling of tissues in the body. It can occur for many reasons, but it can be particularly problematic when it causes pain or discomfort.
It happens because of the accumulation of fluids in the body tissues.
What are the Causes of Swollen Feet?
A lot of people suffer from swollen feet and ankles while sitting at a desk or on other workstations. This is common among people who sit for long hours at a time.
Your body has to pump blood to the lower extremities to keep them warm when working at a computer. This circulation is blocked by the increased pressure on the feet and ankles, which leads to edema.
Your genetics play a major role in fluid retention and swelling. The following causes contribute greatly to this:
- Sudden weight gain
- Diuretic medication
- Inappropriate footwear
- Standing or walking for long periods
- Tight shoes
- Heel pain
- High-heeled shoes
- Lack of activity
- Hormonal imbalance
- Kidney and Liver diseases
- Other related causes may be underlying health conditions like diabetes, arthritis, and an unbalanced diet.
Tips on How to Prevent Feet Swelling
It can be a frustrating condition that many people experience. It can cause pain and discomfort, and make you feel like your feet are getting larger than they are.
In this section, we’ll explain what you should be doing to treat swollen feet and how to take care of your feet at home.
Exercise your Feet
Exercise helps to increase circulation to your feet and will help to keep them in shape. You must take the time to stretch your feet as often as possible, especially when you first get up in the morning.
You can do this by standing on one foot with the other leg folded underneath it, and then stretching your toes.
This stretches your calf muscles and Achilles tendon, which are important for supporting your foot. It also contributes to keeping your feet strong and flexible. Additionally, you can also:
- stand up and take a few steps near your desk
- you can also use the stairs or do some jumping jacks.
- use a tennis ball to massage by rolling your feet on it, under the desk for a few minutes.
Drink plenty of Water to Prevent Feet Swelling
Drinking plenty of water is very important because it helps prevent dehydration.
Dehydration is a major cause of foot swelling. It keeps your blood pressure and stress levels down. It also helps your body absorb nutrients and remove toxins from your body.
Water can be a powerful tool for weight loss, and if you drink enough water, you can lose weight without cutting calories. In short, water is essential to your health, so don’t forget to drink it!
Wear the Right Shoes for Swollen Feet
Avoid wearing tight shoes as they’re not breathable. Wearing supportive shoes that allow your feet to relax. And don’t be a slave to fashion, try and find styles that fit you best.
Moreover, shoes with good arch support, soles, and skin-friendly material are more suitable. Check the fit of the shoe before you buy it, if it’s too big, try a smaller size. In general, the ideal length for your foot is between the longest toe and the end of your big toe.
Get a pair of Compression Socks
They’re called compression socks because they compress the muscles of your feet, which helps to reduce swelling.
They are great for people who sit all day at a desk or at the computer. They’re also great if you’re using a standing desk at the office.
The best way to wear them is to put them on before you go to bed at night. You can do this by putting the socks on first and then taking them off when you get out of bed in the morning.
Get a Foot Massage
A good foot massage has many health benefits and solving your foot problem is just one of them. You can either do it manually or with an ergonomic massage tool.
You should start by making sure your feet are clean. You will then soak them in warm water for 5-10 minutes. The warm water helps the skin to relax. This will allow the massage oil to penetrate your feet. Next, you should rub your feet from the toes up to the balls of your feet.
The benefits of getting a foot massage include:
- Improved circulation
- Relaxed muscles
- Reducing stress
- Increase in muscle flexibility
Use a Foot Pillow to Prevent Feet Swelling While Sitting at a Desk
Foot pillows are a great way to keep your feet warm and comfortable. A foot pillow is designed to provide support for your feet and reduce the amount of pressure on your feet.
They serve a variety of purposes, including keeping your feet warm, reducing the risk of clots, and preventing varicose veins.
Foot pillows can are available in a variety of sizes and shapes. Additionally, they are made from materials such as foam, memory foam, and gel.
Choose a Desk with a Footrest
The footrest is a part of the chair that can be adjusted to accommodate various sizes and shapes of feet. It can also be used as a footstool when not in use.
A footrest in your desk or chair can ease your discomfort as you sit. You can choose an ergonomic office chair with a footrest to keep your feet off the ground and support you while you work.
Adjust the height of the seat to accommodate different heights. If you are short, you may need to lower the seat to avoid painful contact between your thighs and the front edge of the seat.
Use an Ice Pack
Edema is caused by an increase in blood pressure. An ice pack decreases the blood flow to the area causing less swelling.
What’s more, the ice pack can be placed on your feet. It’s also important to keep your feet cool because this helps reduce edema.
A Standing Desk Is a Great Choice
A standing desk is a great choice for swollen feet because it can help to relieve the pressure on the feet.
It also helps to reduce the risk of developing diabetes and other health conditions. In addition, a standing desk can decrease the formation of clots in the legs.
Things to Avoid If You’ve Swollen feet
- Make sure that your office chair is not too high or too low. Your legs should be able to rest comfortably on the ground and your feet should be able to touch the ground when standing up.
- Keep your feet up as much as possible. Your feet should be raised off the ground by at least 6 inches. If your feet are in contact with the ground, you will find it difficult to stand up.
- Avoid the cross-legged posture as you sit. Also do not sit on your feet.
Home Remedies to prevent Feet Swelling
For those with swollen feet, try these home remedies:
- Take 1/4 cup baking soda and mix it with 3/4 cup water. Dip a clean cloth in the solution and place it on your foot. Leave it on for 20 minutes, then rinse off the baking soda. Repeat the process twice a day.
- You can soak them in hot water with Epsom salts. This will help draw out the fluid and relieve the pain.
Hot Water Bottle
- Try using a hot water bottle wrapped in a towel on your feet before bedtime.
Get Medical Advice
The best thing you can do to keep your feet from getting too big is to go to a podiatrist or orthopedic surgeon. They can perform a complete examination of your feet. Then they will have a better idea as to how you should take care of them.
A podiatrist will also tell you what type of footwear you need, depending on your specific foot condition. Sometimes medication is recommended.
Conclusion on How To Prevent Feet Swelling While Sitting At Desk
Studies suggest that painless swelling in the feet, ankles, and lower extremities is common for people who sit and travel. However, age, medication, varicose veins, and other reasons can cause foot swelling.
In conclusion, the best way is to take a break every 30 minutes or so to stretch your feet and legs. Keep your desk chair tall, as this will allow your hips and legs to remain in a straight position and prevent you from sitting in a slouched position.
Place your desk chair away from the edge of the desk, as this will help discourage you from leaning forward and pressing your feet into the floor. At last, consider using a footstool or footrest.
1. What causes feet to swell while sitting at the desk?
Sitting for too long, not using a footrest or foot pedal, and an underlying health condition.
2. What can I do to stop my feet from swelling while sitting?
You should drink water, stay active, and avoid being in one position for long hours.
3. How can I keep my feet cool?
You can keep your feet cool by wearing socks and putting ice cubes in your shoes.
4. Is it normal for my feet to swell while sitting?
Yes, this is because of increased blood flow to your legs. But if the condition persists and becomes painful then it’s advisable to see a doctor.
5. What can I do if I’m having trouble exercising my feet?
Try using a foam roller to ease your pain. This will reduce friction and pressure on your feet as your exercise.
6. Should I visit a doctor for foot edema?
You can visit an orthopedic surgeon or a podiatrist.